Edited by Alfonso Morales-Front, Michael J. Ferreira, Ronald P. Leow and Cristina Sanz
[Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 26] 2020
► pp. 53–74
This project investigates the intonational characteristics of information-seeking wh-in-situ and yes/no questions in Spanish. Data from eight Spanish-Basque bilinguals show that while the former tend to display final rising contours, the latter are primarily circumflex, especially in participants with higher Basque dominance. Our results provide evidence that both question types are licensed by a null intonational morpheme, as proposed by Cheng and Rooryck (2000) for French. However, this morpheme in Spanish is encoded as an elevated high tone, rather than a rising contour. Furthermore, Spanish wh-in-situ questions show higher tonal ranges than in French (Déprez et al. 2013). We suggest that this results from focus assignment on the wh-word and its obligatory placement at the end of the intonational phrase.