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Pre-nuclear Peak Alignment in the Spanish of Spanish-K'ichee' (Mayan) Bilinguals
Brandon O. Baird
163-174 (complete paper or proceedings contents)

Abstract

Previous research on multiple varieties of Spanish has shown that although pre-nuclear peaks in broad focus utterances tend to be aligned in a post-tonic syllable, L+>H* (e.g., McGory and Díaz-Campos 2002), an early, L+H* peak often, but not always, occurs in contact varieties (e.g., Colantoni 2011; O'Rourke 2004). The present article analyzes pre-nuclear peak alignment in Guatemalan Spanish; specifically, in the Spanish spoken by monolinguals and bilinguals of Spanish and K'ichee'. 30 speakers (10 monolinguals from Quetzaltenango, 10 bilinguals from Cantel, and 10 bilinguals from Nahualá) participated in a controlled production task similar to those employed in previous studies in which the target word was fixed in phrase-medial position (Face 2001; O'Rourke 2004). The results of the production task demonstrate that most speakers, 27 of 30, produce late, L+>H* pre-nuclear peaks in Spanish. However, the results also indicate that there is significant individual speaker variation; bilinguals from Nahualá produced pre-nuclear peaks that were significantly earlier than the other speaker groups even though these earlier peaks were often not early enough to be considered an early, L+H* peak. The bilingual data was further analyzed according to bilingual language dominance, as interpreted by the Bilingual Language Profile (Birdsong et al. 2012). The results of a correlation analysis reveal that there is a positive correlation between peak alignment and language dominance: K'ichee'-dominant bilinguals tended to have earlier pre-nuclear peaks than Spanish-dominant bilinguals. Overall, these results reveal variation in pre-nuclear peak alignment within the same variety of Spanish and further indicate that it is often more felicitous to not conflate different kinds of bilinguals into a single participant group (Grosjean 1998).

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 6th Conference on Laboratory Approaches to Romance Phonology
edited by Erik W. Willis, Pedro Martín Butragueño, and Esther Herrera Zendejas
Table of contents
Printed edition: $240.00