The first goal of the article is to examine the alignment patterns of H prenuclear peaks in Central Catalan and, specifically, to analyze the effects of position-in-word of the accented syllable on H peak placement and test the hypothesis that H is anchored at the right edge of the prosodic word (Estebas-Vilaplana 2000, 2003). The second goal is to test whether Catalan listeners are able to use tonal alignment differences due to within-word position in the identification of words with ambiguous word boundary location. The results of a production experiment (Experiment 1), which consisted of a reading task of pairs of potentially ambiguous utterances distinguished by word boundary location (e.g., Mirà batalles '(s)he watched battles' vs. Mirava talles 'I/(s)he used to watch carvings') revealed that: a) H is not consistently aligned with the end of the word, thus not supporting the idea that prenuclear rises in Catalan consist of a combination of an L tone plus a H word tone; and b) that H location is sensitive to the position of the accented syllable within the word: specifically, the peak is significantly retracted as the syllable approaches the end of the word. Finally, results from the identification and discrimination experiments (Experiments 2 and 3) suggest that Catalan listeners might be able to employ tonal alignment details due to within-word position to correctly identify lexical items that are ambiguous for word-boundary position.
|Journal||Italian Journal of Linguistics|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2006|