Full Text

9. Intonation in Spanish


Subject Linguistics » Speech Science
Theoretical Linguistics » Phonology

Key-Topics acoustic, prosody, variation

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405198820.2012.00011.x


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

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top