Focus and Early Peak Alignment in Spanish Intonation

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Recent work on Spanish intonation has shown that words in narrow focus often have an F0 peak within the stressed syllable, while when not in focus the peak generally follows the stressed syllable. Agreement has not been reached, however, as to an appropriate phonological analysis of this intonation pattern. It is shown here that this early F0 peak is the result of a focal pitch accent rather than the phonetic effect of a following intermediate phrase boundary. In addition, it is shown that this is not the only strategy in Spanish for conveying narrow focus through intonation, as increased F0 peak height may also be used. While either strategy may be used to convey focus in different positions within an utterance, there is a difference in frequency which is explained based on the ability to counteract downstep in all positions except initial position, where there is no previous peak from which to downstep.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-246
Number of pages24
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


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