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Análise de Produção de Sentenças Interrogativas Totais em Aprendizes Brasileiros de Espanhol como Língua Estrangeira

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Author(s): DIAS, E.C.O. | ALVES, M.A.

Journal: Journal of Speech Sciences
ISSN 2236-9740

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 43;
Date: 2012;
Original page

ABSTRACT
The pitch curves in a language may represent not only distinct intonational patterns but also serve todifferentiate one type of sentence from another (e.g., interrogative x affirmative). Different melodiccurves may also contain linguistic information which can affect comprehension. One comparisonbetween Spanish and Portuguese can exemplify how differences in the melodic curves of interrogativesentences might cause miscomprehension. According to Sosa (1999) melodic curves of yes/noquestions in Spanish tend to end with a high melodic pattern (H) or with a high and low movement,depending on the dialect. On the other hand, Brazilian Portuguese yes/no questions are said to endwith a circumflex pattern, generally represented by a (HL) tone, especially when the last word of thesentence presents the stress in the penultimate syllable (Moraes and Collamarco, 2007). Taking thesefacts into consideration, this work aims at analyzing the pitch curves of interrogative sentences(yes/no questions) of Colombian Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, which were ended by words withstress relying on the last, the penultimate or the antepenultimate syllables. In order to conduct theresearch, data was collected with two Brazilian learners of Spanish, one native speaker of ColombianSpanish and one native speaker of Brazilian Portuguese. The native speakers served as control group.The learners of Spanish were asked to read 15 sentences in Spanish, and the control group was askedto read the same set of questions in their respective native language. These questions werecontextualized as to be inserted in a situational context of a job interview (role play). All sentenceswere presented to the participants in a computer screen, in a randomized order. In total, the databasewas composed by 35 sentences in Spanish and 14 sentences in Brazilian Portuguese. The collecteddata was then analyzed in the software Praat through the algorithm Momel. This algorithm is able todraw the melodic contours of each sentence at a time. The algorithm Intsint was also used throughPraat in order to extract the melodic tones corresponding to each curve. The intonational patterns (innuclear and prenuclear regions) and the highest point of F0 in each sentence were analyzed. Resultsrelated to the sentences ended in words with stress in the last syllable showed that all subjectsproduced, predominantly, high ending patterns (H) in this type of sentences. Differences amongsubjects rely on the highest F0 point, which appeared with higher frequency in the nuclear region forthe native speaker of Colombian Spanish and for the learners. For the prenuclear region, the resultsshowed that the high and low movements were more prominent in the sentences produced by thelearners than in the sentences produced by native speaker of Colombian Spanish. Regarding thesentences ended by words with stress in the penultimate and the antepenultimate syllables, resultspresented differences between the intonational patterns of Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish. Thenative speaker of Colombian Spanish presented a high ending tone (H) for all the sentences. Thenative speaker of Brazilian Portuguese and the Brazilian learners of Spanish varied their productioneither using a high tone (H) or a circumflex tone (HL). The highest point of F0 appeared with higherfrequency in the nuclear region for the productions of the native speaker of Colombian Spanish whencompared to production of the Brazilian learners of Spanish and the native speaker of BrazilianPortuguese. These results may be due either to the influence of the intonational pattern of thelearner’s L1 or to the influence of other varieties of Spanish which the learners have had contact with.
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