This paper investigates the phonetics and phonology of initial peaks and final falls in wh-questions produced by speakers of the variety of Spanish spoken in the Castile-La Mancha (Manchego) region of Spain. The acoustic analysis is based on speech data for nine speakers, and the goal is to identify how utterance-initial and utterance-final F0 gestures relate to broader issues in intonational phonology and the prosodic signaling of wh-questions. The findings for left periphery constituents provide evidence for a H tone at the utterance boundary for all speakers, although the exact autosegmental representation cannot be provided due to variability in peak alignment patterns. The findings for right periphery constituents indicate two distinct speaker groups based on nuclear syllable and posttonic gestures. Specifically, the continuum of final falls is motivated by contrasting bitonal nuclear pitch accent configurations: H + L* vs. ¡L + H*. The boundary L% specification is argued for all speakers in spite of seemingly divergent posttonic gestures. The experimental findings speak to cross-linguistic issues such as prominence marking in wh-question intonation, the syntax-prosody interface in wh-questions, and the internal structure of pitch accent configurations.
©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston