Focus and prosody in Spanish and Quechua

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This paper reports the results of a study on the prosodic marking of broad and contrastive focus in three language varieties of which two are in contact: bilingual Peruvian Spanish, Quechua and Peninsular Spanish. An interactive communicative task revealed that the prosodic marking of contrastive focus was limited in all three language varieties. No systematic correspondence was observed between specific contour/accent types and focus, and the phonetic marking of contrastive focus was weak and restricted to phrase-final position. Interestingly, we identified two contours for bilingual Peruvian Spanish that were present in Quechua, but not in Peninsular Spanish, providing evidence for a prosodic transfer from Quechua to Spanish in Quechua-Spanish bilinguals.


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