Dialectal variation at the Prosody-Syntax interface: Evidence from Catalan and Spanish interrogatives

Maria Del Mar Vanrell, Olga Fernández Soriano


In this study we investigate how prosody interacts with word order in the expression of interrogativity in different varieties of two Ibero-Romance languages, Catalan and Spanish. We analyze a corpus obtained by means of the Discourse Completion Task Methodology. The collected data were prosodically and syntactically annotated and show that the absence of syntactic marking (wh-word, subject-verb inversion or subject dislocation) for questions tends to correspond to a more salient intonational marking. Thus, wh-questions favor general falling intonational patterns. By contrast, yes-no questions can be classified depending on the nuclear tone (with preference for low tones in Catalan and high tones in Spanish) and final tone (low for language varieties with subject inversion or dislocation, but optionally high for those that do not present syntactic marking in a mandatory way.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-127

Cite as: Vanrell, M.D.M., Soriano, O.F. (2014) Dialectal variation at the Prosody-Syntax interface: Evidence from Catalan and Spanish interrogatives. Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014, 698-702, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-127.


@inproceedings{Vanrell2014,
  author={Maria Del Mar Vanrell and Olga Fernández Soriano},
  title={{Dialectal variation at the Prosody-Syntax interface: Evidence from Catalan and Spanish interrogatives}},
  year=2014,
  booktitle={Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014},
  pages={698--702},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-127},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-127}
}