Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

The modelling of prenuclear accents in Central Catalan declaratives

Eva Estebas-Vilaplana


The aim of this paper is to examine the phonetic and phonological properties of prenuclear accents in Central Catalan declaratives within the Autosegmental-Metrical approach of intonational analysis. Prenuclear accents show a rising movement whose peak tends to be aligned after the accented
syllable. Three possible interpretations for the modelling of such rises are considered: 1) an H* with peak delay, 2) a bitonal accent (L*+H), and 3) the combination of two different tones, namely, a pitch accent (L*) and a word edge tone (H). Words with different stress distributions (oxytones, paroxytones and proparoxytones) are analysed to observe whether the presence of a word boundary has an effect on the location of the F0 peak. The results show that the F0 peak is consistently anchored at the end of the word no matter the number of post-accented syllables. Thus, prenuclear rises in Central Catalan declaratives are interpreted as a combination of an L* pitch accent and an H word edge tone.

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