15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Pre-Nuclear Tonal Inventories of Spanish Intonation

Eugenio Martínez-Celdran, Ana Ma. Fernández-Planas, Natalia Fullana-Rivera

Universitat de Barcelona, Spain

The present study examined the main pitch accents in Spanish declarative and interrogative sentences. We looked at speech produced under laboratory conditions, as it allowed us to control for the word type according to its stress. Contrary to Sosa's (1995) conclusions that the peaks in declarative utterances are always on post-tonic syllables and the pitch accent is L*+H, our results show that a certain degree of variability of pre-nuclear contours exists, mainly H* and L+H*, in both sentence types. Our results also show that the predominant structure in sentences with paroxytone words is L*+H in the first pitch accent of the sentence, but this structure is less frequent in sentences containing oxytone words. Furthermore, if the sentence consists of several pitch accents, the pitch accent immediately preceding the nuclear tone is normally H*, due to the downstep effect of the sentence.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Martínez-Celdran, Eugenio / Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma. / Fullana-Rivera, Natalia (2003): "Pre-nuclear tonal inventories of Spanish intonation", In ICPhS-15, 595-598.