Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Variation at the Interfaces in Ibero-Romance. Catalan and Spanish Prosody and Word Order

Maria del Mar Vanrell Bosch, Olga Fernández Soriano


In this study we investigate how word order interacts with prosody in the expression of sentence modality and different focus constructions in different varieties of Catalan and Spanish. We analyze a corpus obtained by means of two tasks: a) a production test designed to elicit different focus constructions by means of question-answer pairs from short picture stories and b) the Discourse Completion Task methodology. The collected data were prosodically and syntactically annotated. Our data confirm that in Catalan and Spanish the intonational prominence tends to be located in clause-final position but this is completely true only for broad focus declaratives, since the main prominence can also fall on clause-initial position in Eastern Catalan and Basque Spanish informational focus declaratives or remain in situ in both informational and contrastive focus declaratives (especially in val_cat or Spanish). As for interrogative modality, an important distinction is made between languages that can present subject-verb inversion in direct questions (val_cat and Spanish) and languages that cannot (Eastern Catalan). In Eastern Catalan the subject is dislocated.

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