Spanish evidence for pitch-accent structure

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Abstract

This paper considers the ability of the standard view of the pitch accent and two alternative views to account for the tonal-alignment data of two bitonal rising pitch accents in Spanish (one of which is used in cases of broad focus and the other in cases of contrastive focus). It is shown that there is a difference in the relationship between the tones from one pitch accent to the other. The standard view of the pitch accent, which does not assume that pitch accents have an internal structure, is unable to account for such a difference. Postulating that pitch accents have an internal structure allows for an analysis of the two Spanish pitch accents that is able to account for the different relationship between the tones in the different pitch accents. Two possible pitch-accent structures have been mentioned in previous literature, and these are considered in order to see which, if either, is able to account for the Spanish tonal-alignment data. The Spanish tonal-alignment data lead to the proposal that pitch accents have a hierarchical structure, and this structure is employed to propose an analysis of the two Spanish rising pitch accents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-345
Number of pages27
JournalLinguistics
Volume40
Issue number378
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

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