Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1571-0718
  • E-ISSN: 1571-0726
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This article deals with the intonational realization of contrastive focus in Yucatecan Spanish. Data from three recent elicitation studies with a total of ten bilingual speakers of Yucatecan Spanish (YS) and Yucatec Maya (YM) and five monolingual speakers of YS suggest that contrastive focus in the Yucatecan Spanish variant spoken by the Spanish-dominant and monolingual speakers is mostly signaled by means of a high pitch early in the intonation phrase (IP) followed by a fall to the final stressed syllable of a contrasted word. In this respect, the established YS variety crucially differs from standard Mexican Spanish (MS), where the stressed syllable of a contrastive constituent is generally associated with an L+H* pitch accent (cf. de-la-Mota, Martín Butragueño & Prieto. 2010). However, the systematicity described above only shows up in the data produced by the Spanish-dominant and monolingual YS speakers, whereas the balanced bilingual data is characterized by much higher idiosyncratic variation. This fact suggests that the development of intonational systems is also a matter of consolidation or strengthening of features.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): contrastive focus; intonation; language contact; Yucatecan Spanish
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