Prosodic prominence in Argentinian Spanish

Nombre y apellido: Labastía, Leopoldo
Fuente: Journal of Pragmatics, 38(10), pp. 1677–1705, 2006

Código: uncoma016ar

Resumen: It has often been claimed that Spanish tends to keep the nucleus at the end of the intonation phrase and resorts mainly to word order variation for marking focus. This paper aims to explore cases of early nucleus placement in Argentinian Spanish, which reveal that defocalisation is possible with or without a contrastive interpretation. These cases are accounted for from the perspective offered by Relevance Theory, in which focal prominence is considered a procedural resource to reduce cognitive effort by pointing out the most relevant part of utterances. The competing theories which explain the relation between focus and prosodic prominence (Ladd, 1996) are related to the two aspects of communication: the inferential aspect and the coding aspect. There are both purely ostensive-inferential uses of prosodic prominence, and uses where the position of the nuclear accent is determined by the metrical component. The general conclusion drawn from the data is that it would be wrong to try to subsume the whole phenomenon of focus to either aspect, since nucleus placement reflects both the natural side and the linguistically coded side of communication.

Palabras clave: foco; prosodia; pragmática; Teoría de la Relevancia; español argentino

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