Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2018

A prosody account of (inter)subjective modal adverbs in Spanish

From the book Epistemic Modalities and Evidentiality in Cross-Linguistic Perspective

  • Adrián Cabedo Nebot and Bert Cornillie


In this article we examine the prosodic values of intersubjective and subjective readings conveyed by Spanish modal adverbs ending in -mente and which are used in talk-in-interaction. Our analysis consists of a pragmatic analysis of the adverbs in the dynamic context of speaker hearer interaction as well as of an acoustic analysis of the average, i.e. standardized, F0 values of the different readings. Our data from the CORLEC and Val.Es.Co corpora give an indication of significant differences in the prosodic configuration of subjectivity and intersubjectivity in Spanish talk-in-interaction. In the article we show that the speaker marks prosodically the pragmatic dimension involving shared knowledge with the co-participant. The global pitch of the intersubjective readings of the adverbs is perceived as superior to that of the subjective readings. Moreover, intersubjectivity readings display melodic fluctuation from the second syllable (fall) to the final one (rise). This attracts the attention of the co-participant, whereas the prosody of subjectivity presents a continuous rise. In general, we have not found any cases of de-accentuation (Astruc and Nolan 2007a, 2007b) in the prosodic realization of the Spanish adverbs under examination.

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
Downloaded on 27.9.2023 from
Scroll to top button