This paper analyzes the effects of the distance between the stressed syllable and the word edge, or the lexical-stress configuration of words, on pitch peak timing in Spanish. Several dependent variables are studied: (1) peak delay (distance between onset of tonic and pitch peak), (2) distance between offset of tonic and pitch peak, (3) distance between word edge and pitch peak, and (4) relative peak delay (peak delay divided by the distance between onset of tonic and word edge). On the one hand, the results show that, for six speakers, relative pitch timing or alignment varies as a function of lexical-stress configuration: peak delay is greater for paroxytones than for oxytones, and greatest for proparoxytones. On the other hand, the results also show that peaks do not consistently align with respect to the word boundary, as claimed for Catalan (Estebas 2003). The following interpretation of the data is offered: peaks are attracted by two secondary associations (Prieto et al. 2005) that are in constant competition, the offset of the tonic syllable and the word boundary.
Selected Proceedings of the 9th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Nuria Sagarra and Almeida Jacqueline Toribio
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