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Intonation in Romance$
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Sónia Frota and Pilar Prieto

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685332

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685332.001.0001

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Intonational variation in Spanish

Intonational variation in Spanish

European and American varieties

(p.350) 10 Intonational variation in Spanish
Intonation in Romance

José Ignacio Hualde

Pilar Prieto

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers an overview of intonational patterns in Spanish within the Autosegmental Metrical model. In all sections, both cross-dialectal patterns and differences among dialects are pointed out. In broad-focus statements, usually there is a fall throughout the syllable with nuclear accent. A rise and fall within this syllable conveys greater emphasis. In prenuclear accents, the general tendency is to have very late peaks, but this tendency is less prevalent in some varieties. Spanish dialects differ in their unmarked yes-no questions. One contour, found for instance in Madrid and Mexico City, has a low tone on the syllable with nuclear accent, followed by a final rise. The other main contour, typical of Caribbean and Canarian varieties, has a high plateau up to the last stressed syllable, where it falls. In wh-questions, there are less clear dialectal distinctions. Finally, there appears to be no unambiguous imperative intonation, even though imperatives are often segmentally identical to declaratives.

Keywords:   Spanish, intonation, pitch accent, Autosegmental Metrical model, ToBI

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