Prosody, information structure and evaluation

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The goal of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of how prosodic lengthening in Spanish can be a means of marking information structure, particularly when an entire propositional content is involved. We test empirically the correlation between a form of prosodic marking used to identify a piece of content as already introduced in discourse – verum focus being a particular case of this general distinction – and evaluative values such as insistence and impatience. Native speakers consistently identify, in a perceptual experiment, the lengthened pattern with those discourse situations that involve repetition, often associated with insistence and impatience, and identify the nuclear stress as the locus of the marking.


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