The goal of this paper is to disentangle the phonetic cues of stress from those of accent in Spanish. The author examined the phonetic cues of pitch, duration, and intensity in oxytone words in two types of sentences. The first type included declarative sentences where stressed syllables were also accented. Parenthetic phrases constituted the second type of sentence. Their flat intonation and low pitch register prevented any stressed syllables from bearing an accent. Thus, the above phonetic cues were measured in three syllable types: unstressed syllables, accented stressed syllables, and unaccented stressed syllables. Results supported the hypothesis that stress and accent were two different linguistic units in Spanish because they were related to different phonetic cues. Only accented syllables showed evidence of a pitch accent, by displaying an ascendant trajectory at the beginning of the stressed vowel. Duration patterns differentiated stressed from unstressed syllables regardless of whether or not they bore an accent. Both accented and unaccented stressed syllables were longer and displayed higher C/V ratios than their preceding unstressed syllables. Moreover, these patterns were consistent for all five subjects. These results were compared to those obtained for North Bizkaian Basque (Elordieta and Hualde 2003), a Non-Stress Accent language, and Beckman's (1986) typology of Stress Accent versus Non-Stress Accent languages was discussed.
Selected Proceedings of the 2nd Conference on Laboratory Approaches to Spanish Phonetics and Phonology
edited by Manuel Díaz-Campos Table of contents
ISBN 978-1-57473-411-9 library binding
viii + 148 pages
publication date: 2006
published by Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA, USA