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9. Intonation in Spanish

ERIN O'ROURKE


Subject Linguistics » Speech Science
Theoretical Linguistics » Phonology

Key-Topics acoustic, prosody, variation

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405198820.2012.00011.x


Extract

Intonation is a suprasegmental characteristic of speech that pertains to features of sound above the level of vowels and consonants. The changes in prosody or melodic contour are assigned a certain grammatical and/or pragmatic meaning according to the context in which it is used, such as an emphatic statement or a question expressing surprise. Languages may vary according what contours are used in each instance. In Spanish, the goal of intonation studies has been to determine which contours and intonation features are common across Spanish dialects and which ones serve to distinguish these dialects (e.g., in broad terms, Peninsular vs. Latin American, or by region, Caribbean Spanish vs. Andean Spanish). In addition, the ways in which Spanish intonation may have developed and continue to develop in these different dialects has been of interest, in particular in terms of language contact and language acquisition. The goal of this chapter, then, is to first describe intonation itself in terms of its properties of sound, and to introduce how this may be used to express differences in meaning. Then, in Section 2, the intonation features that have been examined for Spanish are summarized, including some of the main findings. In Section 3, the ways is which Spanish dialects have been found to differ will be described. Next, in Section 4, Spanish in contact with other languages and its ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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