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      The Realization of Focus in Asturian Spanish

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      Journal of Portuguese Linguistics

      Ubiquity Press

      Information structure, prosody, Asturian, Spanish, focus-marking

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          Abstract

          Spanish was classified as a language that only exploits syntactic mechanisms to mark focus. Recent experimental studies, nonetheless, have shown that speakers of different dialects are also able to use prosody to different degrees. This study aims to provide further understanding on the role played by prosody in the realization of focus in Spanish by looking at Asturian Spanish, a dialect in contact with another Romance language, Asturian. The data from a contextualized sentence completion task revealed that a phonological distinction between specific pitch categories (L+<H* vs. L+H*) cannot be established in this dialect, at least for the types of focus being elicited (i.e., informational/non-corrective vs. contrastive/corrective). Nonetheless, it also showed that speakers exploit different prosodic features (i.e., pitch range, alignment, and duration) to mark focus constituents, although their use differs as a result of that constituents’ function. These findings provide further support for the consideration of languages and specific dialects in a continuum based on the degree to which they use prosody to mark focus and to explore more in detail the phonetic implementation of focal accents.

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          Most cited references 28

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          Identificational Focus versus Information Focus

           Katalin Kiss (1998)
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            Intonation across Spanish, in the Tones and Break Indices framework

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              Focus, Word Order Variation and Intonation in Spanish and English: An OT account

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2397-5563
                Journal of Portuguese Linguistics
                Ubiquity Press
                2397-5563
                08 January 2018
                2018
                : 17
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, US
                Article
                10.5334/jpl.176
                Copyright: © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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