Prosodic phrasing of relative clauses with two possible antecedents in Spanish: A comparison of Spanish native speakers and L1 Basque bilingual speakers

Irene de la Cruz-Pavía 1  and Gorka Elordieta 1
  • 1 Department of Linguistics and Basque Studies, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Paseo de la Universidad 5, 01006, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Irene de la Cruz-Pavía and Gorka Elordieta

Abstract

The present production study investigates the prosodic phrasing characteristic of sentences containing a relative clause with two possible noun phrase antecedents [Noun Phrase 1 Noun Phrase 2 Relative Clause] in the variety of Spanish spoken in the Basque Country. It aims to establish the default prosodic phrasing of these structures, as well as whether differences are found in phrasing between native and non-native speakers. Additionally, it examines the effect on prosodic phrasing of constituent length and familiarity with the sentences (skimming the sentences prior to reading them aloud). To do that, the productions of 8 Spanish monolinguals, 8 first language (L1) Spanish/second language (L2) Basque bilinguals, and 8 L1Basque/L2Spanish bilinguals are examined. A default phrasing consisting of the prevalence of a prosodic break after NP2 ([NP1 NP2/RC]) is obtained, and differences are found between the prosodic contours of native and non-native speakers. Additionally, a constituent length effect is found, with a higher frequency of prosodic boundaries after NP2 as RC length increases, as predicted by Fodor’s Same Size Sister Constraint. Last, familiarity with the sentences was found to increase the frequency of occurrence of the default phrasing.

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The official journal of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE), Folia Linguistica covers all non-historical areas in the traditional disciplines of general linguistics, and also sociological, discoursal, computational and psychological aspects of language and linguistic theory. Folia Linguistica Historica is exclusively devoted to diachronic linguistics (both historical and comparative) and to the history of linguistics.

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