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Journal Article

Prosodic accommodation and salience: The nuclear contours of Andalusian Spanish speakers in Asturias


Troncoso Ruiz,  Aurora
Center for Language Studies , External Organizations;
International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Troncoso Ruiz, A., & Elordieta, G. (2017). Prosodic accommodation and salience: The nuclear contours of Andalusian Spanish speakers in Asturias. Loquens, 4(2): e403. doi:10.3989/loquens.2017.043.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-8F4B-A
This study investigates the convergent accommodating behaviour of Andalusian speakers (Southern Spain) relocated in Asturias (Northern Spain), a context of dialect contact, in terms of intonation. We aim to address three research questions: (1) is there evidence for accommodation? (2) Do social factors determine accommodation? And (3) does salience predict which prosodic features are more likely to be adopted by relocated speakers? We elaborated a corpus of spontaneous speech including an experimental group of Andalusian speakers in Asturias and two control groups of Asturian and Andalusian people. The relocated Andalusians were interviewed by a speaker of Andalusian Spanish and a speaker of Amestáu (hybrid variety between Asturian and Spanish), and their intonation patterns were compared to the ones found in the control populations. During the interviews, we also gathered data about how integrated these relocated speakers were in Asturias. We found that all participants show a tendency towards convergent accommodation to the Amestáu interlocutor, producing late falling pitch contours in nuclear position in declaratives and final falling contours in absolute interrogatives. The most integrated speakers in the Asturian community are the ones showing more features of the varieties spoken in the area. Finally, the most salient features to an Andalusian ear—the presence of final falls in Asturian, Asturian Spanish and Amestáu absolute interrogatives as opposed to final rises in Andalusian and Standard Peninsular Spanish—were the ones showing the highest percentages of adoption in relocated speakers. We could conclude, then, that the most salient prosodic features are acquired more easily by the most integrated relocated speakers.