Intonational Cues in the Perception of Invitation and Information-Seeking Yes/No Questions by Mexican and Castilian Spanish Speakers
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This paper investigates perceptual cues used by Castilian and Mexican Spanish listeners to distinguish between information-seeking and invitation yes/no questions. A forced choice perception experiment examined the contribution of pitch height and peak alignment of the final rise of the nuclear peak as primary cues in distinguishing sentence types. The results from preliminary data indicate that a difference in the pitch scaling of the final rise is the primary factor that helps both Castilian and Mexican Spanish listeners distinguish between information-seeking vs. invitation yes/no questions. On the other hand, peak alignment was not a significant factor in the model; neither was the dialect of Spanish of the participants. The results of this perceptual experiment do not provide evidence in favor of a categorical phonological contrast in terms of the rise onset points between these two types of contours for Castilian and Mexican Spanish, but suggest that tonal height is an important cue for distinguishing between both types of yes/no questions.
Selected Proceedings of the 15th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Chad Howe, Sarah E. Blackwell, and Margaret Lubbers Quesada
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