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A Description of Tucumán Spanish Intonation in Argentina

Virginia Terán / Marta Ortega-Llebaria
Published Online: 2017-10-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2017-0023

Abstract

This paper documents for the first time the intonation system of Tucumán Spanish, an understudied variety of Argentinian Spanish. Semi-spontaneous speech illustrating the intonation of main sentence types, i.e. broad focus statements, partial and absolute interrogatives, and imperatives and vocatives, was elicited from 31 native speakers of Tucumán Spanish via an adapted version of the Argentinian Intonation Survey (Prieto and Roseano, 2009-2013). The two authors listened to the recordings and transcribed them using the Tones and Break Indexes conventions (ToBI) (Beckman et al. 2002, Prieto and Roseano 2010, Hualde and Prieto 2015). Transcriptions of prenuclear and nuclear configurations together with their respective frequencies allowed both an appreciation of the most used configurations within each sentence type along with detailed variation at the phonetic level. For example, yes/no questions were consistently realized with a low nuclear pitch accent L* and an ascending boundary tone. However, there was variation in the height of the boundary tones yielding the frequent contour L* ¡H%, and the less frequent L* H%. Altogether, these detailed patterns document the systematic phonetic variation of the intonation system of TS and provide a basis for future research to determine the phonological status of this variation.

Keywords: Tucumán Spanish; intonation; documentation; phonetic transcription; ToBI; prenuclear configurations; nuclear configurations

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About the article

Received: 2016-12-23

Accepted: 2017-04-12

Published Online: 2017-10-31

Published in Print: 2017-10-26


Citation Information: Open Linguistics, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 456–490, ISSN (Online) 2300-9969, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2017-0023.

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© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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