Quasi-neutralization of stress contrasts in Spanish
Torreira, F., Simonet, M., & Hualde, J. I.
Quasi-neutralization of stress contrasts in Spanish. In N. Campbell, D. Gibbon, & D. Hirst (Eds.
), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2014
We investigate the realization and discrimination of lexical
stress contrasts in pitch-unaccented words in phrase-medial
position in Spanish, a context in which intonational pitch
accents are frequently absent. Results from production and
perception experiments show that in this context durational
and intensity cues to stress are produced by speakers and used
by listeners above chance level. However, due to substantial
amounts of phonetic overlap between stress categories in
production, and of numerous errors in the identification of
stress categories in perception, we suggest that, in the absence
of intonational cues, Spanish speakers engaged in online
language use must rely on contextual information in order to
distinguish stress contrasts.