Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Phonology or not phonology? That is the question (in intonation)

Giovanna Marotta


The paper would like to challenge the basic tenet of Autosegmental Theory of Intonation, i.e. that in non-tonal languages it is possible to deal with intonation in phonological terms. Therefore, the traditional criteria normally adopted in phonological tradition (discreteness and distinctiveness) are tested. The empirical evidence employed is taken from some Italian varieties. On the ground of the acoustic analysis, a crucial role is given to the new parameter of scaling in Pitch Accents.
The phonology of intonation is thus to be found not at the level of grammar, but rather at the sociolinguistic level, as pitch is a socio-phonetic marker for the discrimination among the different varieties of a language.

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