Journal of Portuguese Linguistics
Volume 5, No. 2, 2006/ Volume 6, No. 1, 2007
Prosody in Ibero-Romance and related languages
In this paper, we develop an analysis of primary word stress in Brazilian Portuguese (BP). We evaluate the typological and language-specific arguments that are presented in the literature against the relevance of syllable weight in Portuguese, and show that none of them appears to be valid when confronted with cross-linguistic evidence or the facts of BP phonology. We then go on to show that stress in BP represents a mixed system, in which verbs receive stress as a function of the morphological categories of tense (past, present, future), whereas stress in non-verbs is prosody-based and sensitive to the distinction between heavy and light syllables. We finally propose a constraint analysis of this system, which we claim functions in the lexical part of a stratified model.
JOSÉ IGNACIO HUALDE
In Spanish function words and expressions can be classified as lexically stressed or unstressed. Unstressed function words are usually realized without word-level prominence. There is also a contrast between compounds with stress on all their components and compound with a single stress, on the last member. Both in the case of function words and in the case of compounds, the facts are idiosyncratic in some respects. In this paper, these facts are presented in some detail and an analysis along the lines of Liberman & Sproat’s (1992) proposal for English is made. In this analysis, unstressed elements join in a single prosodic word with following elements. Interestingly, Spanish differs from English in being right-dominant in both word- and phrase-level prosodic domains. Within each prosodic word only the stress of the last element is realized. I also discuss the nature of secondary stress in Spanish. It is tentatively proposed that two different secondary stress phenomena should be distinguished.
This paper presents a comparative description and analysis of the intonational contours of Brazilian Portuguese (BP) sentences in neutral and subject-narrow-focus conditions. Making use of the literature on European Portuguese (EP) intonation, it also compares BP intonation with the intonation of EP sentences under the same conditions, looking for similarities and differences between the intonational patterns of these two Portuguese varieties. Our results indicate that BP neutral sentences can optionally show pitch accents associated with all prosodic words ( ωs). In subject-narrow-focus conditions, the same type of pitch accents that are found associated with non-focused subjects can also be found with focused subjects. In addition, it is also possible to find a phrasal accent associated with the right boundary of the phonological phrase ( φ) that contains the focused subject. In contrast to BP, in EP neutral sentences, pitch accents are associated with the I-initial and I-final ωs. Furthermore, in this variety, in subject-narrow-focus conditions there is always a special bitonal pitch accent carried by the focused subject and there are no phrasal accents associated with boundaries of the φ that contains the subject.
TIMOTHY L. FACE & PILAR PRIETO
This paper employs Castilian Spanish data to examine the issue of rising pitch accents and their phonological analysis. The preliminary Sp_ToBI annotation conventions are shown to be inadequate for representing the Castilian Spanish data, and therefore a revision is proposed. Through an examination of data on Castilian Spanish rising accents in a variety of sentence types, two primary contributions are made in this paper. First, new empirical data on the inventory of rising pitch accents in Castilian Spanish is provided, showing that there is a three-way contrast that must be accounted for. Secondly, an analysis of rising accents is proposed that is based on the secondary association of pitch accent tones that not only is able to account for the three-way contrast in rising accents, but which offers a more straightforward manner of assigning starredness in bitonal pitch accents.
MARIA DEL MAR VANRELL
This paper reports the application of the Categorical Perception paradigm to a pitch height contrast in the nuclear accent between yes-no and what-questions in Majorcan Catalan. Using two natural tokens produced by a female speaker, two intonational continua were created, from yes-no to what-question contour and vice versa, by shifting the peak in 4 steps of 15 Hz each. 42 Majorcan Catalan listeners participated in a two-part experiment, consisting of an identification and a discrimination task. The results from the identification task showed that it is possible to switch the perceived category by manipulating the pitch height of the leading tone. Also, Reaction Times were shorter within categories and longer between categories. Discrimination results revealed that the shift in the identification function corresponded to the peak in the discrimination function. The comparisons between obtained and predicted discrimination results indicated that discrimination can be predicted from identification results on the basis of phonetic categorization. These results confirmed that the difference in pitch height of the leading tone in nuclear accent for yes-no and what-questions in Majorcan Catalan is discrete and has a phonological character. In addition, the discrimination results revealed that Majorcan listeners are more sensitive to F0 differences when the first token is lower in frequency than the second.
This paper examines the tonal patterns of sentences in Dominican Spanish produced in response to three pragmatic intents: declaratives, absolute interrogatives, and pronominal interrogatives. The results indicate that there are systematic variations between the three utterance types; however, the final tonal rise was not a determining factor. Distinct patterns of tonal levels distinguished each of the three utterance types. The pronominal interrogatives demonstrated a higher initial tonal value and prenuclear High tone, while the absolute interrogatives presented a significantly higher tonal value for the nuclear pitch accent. These findings identify specific intonational behaviors that vary across dialects of Spanish. Finally, the data indicate that pragmatic utterance level intonational marking of Spanish interrogatives is not limited to boundary tones as was previously suggested in the literature.
This paper shows that a distinction should be made between weak and strong pronouns in Papiamentu. The members of the weak series are prosodically and distributionally deficient, in contrast with those of the strong series. Their prosodic deficiency means that weak pronouns need to be prosodically licensed. I argue that this is achieved by integration into a tone domain, and, in the case of weak object pronouns, by incorporation into the prosodic word of the preceding verb. Tone polarisation, whereby weak pronouns acquire a contextually determined tone, is evidence of integration into a tone domain. A mismatch in the directionality of tone integration (to the right) and incorporation (to the left) shows that the tone domain of Papiamentu is not co-terminate with the prosodic word. An important distributional fact is found in the distribution of subject pronouns relative to mood marker lo, suggesting that weak and strong subject pronouns occupy different positions in the clausal architecture. I argue that weak subject pronouns are functional heads, and appear lower than strong pronouns, which have the same status as lexical subjects.
MARCUS MAIA, EVA FERNÁNDEZ, ARMANDA COSTA & MARIA DO CARMO LOURENÇO-GOMES
This study presents new data about the cross-language application of the Late Closure principle (Frazier, 1978), whose universality was put in question by data from Spanish (Cuetos & Mitchell, 1988). Using sentences containing a restrictive relative clause unambiguously modifying the first or the second noun of a complex NP (os cúmplices do ladrão/o cúmplice dos ladrões que fugiram), this study compares the behavior of Brazilian and European Portuguese speakers participating in a self-paced reading task. The data confirm that, in early phases of processing, attachment preferences are driven by a locality principle such as Late Closure. Based on a review of studies on Portuguese, Spanish and other Romance languages, we argue that the high- versus low-attachment difference across languages emerges cleanly only in off-line tasks, such as questionnaire studies, thus limiting the types of explanations for the cross-linguistic differences. We also advance an explanation for the high attachment preferences found in unspeeded questionnaire studies based on the Implicit Prosody Hypothesis (Fodor, 1998a, 2002).
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