Seminario de Lingüística Teórica LyCC: "Prosody-syntax interface in the expression of focus in Catalan and Spanish"

16:00 hrs. Sala María Moliner 1F
Por María del Mar Vanrell (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Catalan and Spanish, two closely-related languages, are considered to mark focus by syntactic means, although recent studies show that prosodic strategies are acceptable as well (Face & D’Imperio 2005, Estebas-Vilaplana 2000). Regarding these prosodic strategies, in Catalan and Spanish it is assumed that intonational prominence falls on clause-final position and that prominence shift is not an available mechanism (Vallduví 1991, Zubizarreta 1998). However, it remains unclear which prosodic strategies are possible (pitch accent shape; postfocal compression; differences in alignment, duration or pitch height), under which circumstances they operate, and how they interact with syntax. Since prominence shift is not an available strategy to make the focused constituent fall under prominence, alternative syntactic mechanisms are proposed in order to vary the location of prominence. Thus, for Catalan, Vallduví (1991) proposes dislocation of the nonfocal material of a sentence to ensure that elements that a speaker wishes to focalize appear in the rightmost position, whereas, in Spanish, the nonfocal material undergoes movement to a non canonical position (p-movement or prosodically motivated movement, Zubizarreta 1998). Other syntactic strategies such as focus fronting or clefting seem to be restricted to a contrastive meaning (Solà 1990 for Catalan, Zubizarreta 1998 for Spanish).
Organiza: Grupo de Investigación Lingüística y Ciencia Cognitiva, Línea de Inv. Cambio, variación y cognición en el lenguaje.
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