Declarative utterances in Buenos Aires Spanish

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This chapter aims to explore an aspect of the interface between prosody and pragmatics by examining the contribution of intonation to the process of utterance interpretation in spontaneous speech. Buenos Aires Spanish has three nuclear pitch accent &#43; boundary tone configurations associated with declarative utterances: (a) high-falling (H&#43;L<i> </i>L&#37;); (b) low (L<i> </i>L&#37;); (c) risingfalling (L&#43;H&#43;L L&#37;). All three can be used to assert a given state of affairs, but each encodes a different pragmatic meaning, associated with the strength and emphasis with which the state of affairs is communicated and with the type of cognitive effect to be achieved by the utterance. The prosodic analysis is carried out using the Autosegmental-Metrical approach, and the pragmatic analysis follows Relevance Theory.


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