An intonational phrase is a phonological unit with the following properties: (i) it is the largest phonological unit into which an utterance can be divided, (ii) it has a specifiable intonational structure including a single most prominent point (the nucleus), and it matches up in some way with syntactic and discourse structure.
It seems that the term (or its variant intonation phrase) became popular through the influence of Pierrehumbrt (1980).
- phonemic clause (Trager & Smith 1951)
- macrosegment (Hockett 1958)
- tone group (Halliday 1967)
- breath group (Lieberman 1967)
- Halliday, M.A.K. 1967. Intonation and grammar in British English. The Hague: Mouton.
- Hockett, Charles F. 1958. A course in modern linguistics. New York: Macmillan.
- Liebrman, Philip. 1967. Intonation, perception, and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Pierrehumbrt, Janet. 1980. The phonology and phonetics of English intonation. Ph.D. dissertation, MIT.
- Trager, George L. & Smith, H.L. 1951. An outline of English structure. Norman, OK: Battenburg Press.