The Intonational Phonology of Porteņo Spanish (2004)

M.A. thesis

Patrick Barjam

This study describes the intonational patterns of Porteņo Spanish within an Autosegmental-Metrical (AM) (Ladd 1996) approach. Six monolingual Porteņo speakers produced ninety-nine sentences which include declaratives, interrogatives, imperatives, and focused declarative and focus yes/no questions. An analysis of the pitch contours suggest that there are two underlying phonemic pitch accents, L+H* and L+^H*, realized as five different allotones. It is shown that the phonemic pitch accents are crucial in distinguishing between declaratives and yes/no questions. Evidence is also presented showing the existence of two phonemic intermediate phrase tones, L- and H-, which have three allotones, and two intonation phrase boundary tones. It was also found that peaks are realized earlier when focused than when not focused in both declaratives and yes/no questions.

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