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The Direction of Inflection: Downtrends and Uptrends in Peruvian Spanish Broad Focus Declaratives
Erin O'Rourke
62-74 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


The current study on Peruvian Spanish intonation examines the relationship of peak heights in two regional varieties of Spanish as spoken in Lima and Cuzco. An instrumental analysis was conducted of a series of recordings of read speech samples. A comparison was made between native Spanish speakers from Lima and Cuzco as well as Quechua-Spanish coordinate and consecutive bilinguals from Cuzco. Downstep is observed consistently between the first two prenuclear peaks for all speakers. The final, nuclear peak height was shown to be downstepped, level, or upstepped. Differences in the height of nuclear peaks do not appear to be determined according to origin or the language(s) spoken by the individual. Declination is not observed, such that longer intervals do not correspond to lower peaks, similar to previous descriptions of Spanish. The current study serves to identify an area of further research of the possible causes for variation in nuclear peak height and its pragmatic interpretation.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 2nd Conference on Laboratory Approaches to Spanish Phonetics and Phonology
edited by Manuel Díaz-Campos
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Printed edition: $180.00