Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Intonational analysis of descendants of Italian immigrants in Espirito Santo (Brasil)

Priscilla Gevigi de Andrade Majoni, Alexsandro Rodrigues Meireles, Edenize Ponzo Peres


This study aims at describing and analyzing the intonation of declarative and interrogative sentences in phrasal structures spoken by descendants of Italian immigrants living in the urban area of Santa Teresa, Espírito Santo, Brazil. To help achieve this goal we employed the AMPER Project (i.e. the Multimedia Atlas for Prosodic Research of Romance Languages) along with the Theory of Variation and Change (Weinreich, Labov & Herzog 1968; Labov 1972). For this research, therefore, we selected from the AMPER-POR corpus all 66 phrasal structures with three types of Portuguese stress structures (oxytone, paroxytone and proparoxytone). Such phrases were verbally expressed by eight (8) subjects and then divided into the following social variables: sex/gender (male and female), age group (8-14 years and 50+ years, with up to 4 years of formal education). From the intonation graphs of sentences pronounced by the subjects, it was found that the intonation pattern of all the subjects is similar. At the end of the phrase, the intonational curve in the interrogative sentence rises in oxytone, paroxytone and proparoxytone words. On the other hand, it presents a fall at the end of the phrase in declarative sentences. However, in a perceptive/visual analysis, when comparing children and the elderly, it is observed that the intonational curve is similar in both genders for the younger groups, while in informants over 50 years there is a sex/gender distinction regarding the intonational pattern.

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