A paper by Nick Henriksen appeared in the newest edition of the journal Probus, one of the premier journals focusing on historical and synchronic research in Romance linguistics. With this new paper, titled "Initial peaks and final falls in the intonation of Manchego Spanish wh-questions", Nick confirms his place among the leading researchers in the field of Spanish intonational phonology. Based on careful acoustic analysis of the speech of nine speakers from the Manchego region in Spain, Nick documents two distinct patterns for the realization of wh-questions. He also considers the implications of these patterns for intonational phonology and the syntax-prosody interface more generally. The full bibliographic information of the paper, together with an abstract, is given below.
Henriksen, Nicholas. (2014) Initial peaks and final falls in the intonation of Manchego Spanish wh-questions. Probus, 26:83-133.
This paper investigates the phonetics and phonology of initial peaks and final falls in wh-questions produced by speakers of the variety of Spanish spoken in the Castile-La Mancha (Manchego) region of Spain. The acoustic analysis is based on speech data for nine speakers, and the goal is to identify how utterance-initial and utterance-final F0 gestures relate to broader issues in intonational phonology and the prosodic signaling of wh-questions. The findings for left periphery constituents provide evidence for a H tone at the utterance boundary for all speakers, although the exact autosegmental representation cannot be provided due to variability in peak alignment patterns. The findings for right periphery constituents indicate two distinct speaker groups based on nuclear syllable and posttonic gestures. Specifically, the continuum of final falls is motivated by contrasting bitonal nuclear pitch accent configurations: H?+?L* vs. ¡L?+?H*. The boundary L% specification is argued for all speakers in spite of seemingly divergent posttonic gestures. The experimental findings speak to cross-linguistic issues such as prominence marking in wh-question intonation, the syntax-prosody interface in wh-questions, and the internal structure of pitch accent configurations.