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Reading: Utterance Signaling and Tonal Levels in Dominican Spanish Declaratives and Interrogatives

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Research Paper

Utterance Signaling and Tonal Levels in Dominican Spanish Declaratives and Interrogatives

Author:

Erik Willis

Indiana University, Bloomington, 866 Ballantine Hall, 1020 E. Kirkwood, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405
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Abstract

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.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/jpl.149
How to Cite: Willis, E. (2007). Utterance Signaling and Tonal Levels in Dominican Spanish Declaratives and Interrogatives. Journal of Portuguese Linguistics, 6(1), 179–202. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/jpl.149
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Published on 30 Jun 2007.
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