Diachronic prosody of a contact variety
This paper presents a micro-diachronic study of the prosody of Porteño, the Spanish variety spoken in Buenos Aires, by comparing spontaneous speech data collected in 1983 with comparable recordings made in 2008. <i>Porteño</i> Spanish is said to be influenced by Italian due to massive immigration between 1830 and 1950. The question arises of whether the use of “Italian” features in <i>Porteño</i> prosody has increased or decreased since the shift from Spanish-Italian bilingualism to prevailing Spanish monolingualism. Tonal and durational analyses performed on our data reveal that by and large, the presumably “Italian” characteristics remain unchanged, although some significant differences were found between the two time periods with respect to the occurrences of certain pitch accents and boundary tones.