Experimental results on Brazilian Portuguese (BP) intonation are reported, concentrating on speakers from the Campinas area. A combined production and perception study shows that four nuclear contours are produced and distinguished: statements (H+L* L%), emphatic statements (same, with higher F0), yes/no-questions (L+H* L%), and surprise questions (L*+H L%). A first semi-compositional analysis of the contours is offered, in which the declarative/interrogative distinction (not marked morphosyntactically on BP yes/no-questions) is encoded by the choice of L* vs. H* pitch accent. A distinction corresponding to English committing vs. non-committing intonation is marked in addition by the choice of bitonal H+L vs. L+H pitch accent. Further, it is shown that focus is marked by four out of our six speakers by the absence of a pitch accent following an early narrow focus, as well as by increased relative length of the focused constituent.
How to Cite
Truckenbrodt, H. & Sandalo, F. & Abaurre, B., (2009) “Elements of Brazilian Portuguese intonation”, Journal of Portuguese Linguistics 8(1), 75-114. doi: https://doi.org/10.5334/jpl.122