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Title:Phonetic and Phonological Evidence for Intermediate Phrasing in Spanish Intonation
Author(s):Nibert, Holly Joy
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hualde, Jose Ignacio
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Language, Modern
Abstract:Within an auto segmental-metrical (AM) framework of intonation, the melody of an utterance is understood as stemming from a series of tones associated to both stressed syllables and the boundaries of hierarchically-organized prosodic constituents that make up an utterance. Two possible constituents are the intermediate phrase and the intonation phrase. In languages such as English and Japanese (Pierrehumbert 1980, Beckman and Pierrehumbert 1986, Pierrehumbert and Beckman 1988), Catalan (Prieto 1997), and Portuguese (Frota 1998), tones marking phrases smaller than the intonation phrase can be used to create meaning contrasts. It has been claimed that this does not occur in Spanish, however, since only one level of phonological phrasing exists in the language---the intonation phrase itself (Sosa 1991, 1999).
The present study provides experimental evidence for two levels of phonological phrasing in Spanish, against Sosa's claim---both the intermediate phrase and the intonation phrase. Various phonetic cues in data elicited from three native speakers of Peninsular Spanish suggest the realization of a tone marking the right boundary of intermediate phrases in non-final position in the intonation phrase. This tone is referred to as the phrase accent (T-). Given such indications of T-, a perception test was administered to 33 native listeners to determine: (1) if such cues are attended to, and (2) if so, what types of meaning they convey. Statistical analyses of the results show that listeners attend to these cues to assign various types of contrastive meaning. Thus, T- is a distinct category in the tonal inventory of Spanish, and intermediate phrasing is used contrastively in the language, as in other Romance languages.
In Spanish, each intonation phrase is comprised of at least one or more intermediate phrases. By definition, the end of an intonation phrase is also the end of its final intermediate phrase, and in this position, T- and the boundary tone T% (marking an intonation-phrase boundary) combine to determine utterance-final F0 movement. The fact that both T- and T% appear in intonation-phrase final position in Spanish now calls for a reanalysis of basic F0 contours in the language within the AM framework.
Issue Date:2000
Description:374 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9971148
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-05-13
Date Deposited:2000

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