True/false activities are also useful for demonstrating the role of the Expression stratum in highlighting given and new information within a clause. Let’s take two examples:

*The boy is 11 years old.*
*He rides his bike to school.*

In the first example, the new information is ’11 years old’ which, in an unmarked clause, is given tonic prominence: *The boy is ***11** years old. In the second example, we find a more complex weak-strong iambic pattern, *He ***rides** his **bike** to **school**, that highlights certain elements within the clause.

When we present these two as being true or false, however, the focus of given and new information changes in a slight, but important, way. If we take the first example first, the given information becomes the entire previous clause, *The boy is 11 years old*, packaged as a single nominal group (it could be replaced with ‘it’) while the new information is *is true*. This change is reflected in the Expression stratum:

*The boy is 11 years old is ***true**

The given information is spoken quickly and without any tonic prominence, which moves to the word *false*. The two pieces of given information (*The boy is/The boy is 11 years old is*) would take roughly the same time to be spoken. Similarly with the second example, we move from an iambic pattern to one in which there is a single piece of new information:

*The boy rides his bike to school is ***false**

Again, the given information is spoken quickly and without stress.

This difference in speed and intonation indicating a nominalised clause can be difficult for both elementary and advanced students (Japanese, for example, does this grammatically with either the particle の,* no*, plus a topic marker は, *wa,* or 事, *koto*). Using true/false activities can be a good way of pointing out the difference.

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