Loquens, Vol 2, No 2 (2015)

A preliminary approach to phonological phrase in Spanish


Nuria Polo Cano
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Spain


Although the prosodic hierarchy has been well established in phonological theory for decades, little empirical work on its higher constituents has been done on Spanish. This study examines two well-known phonological processes in Spanish (spirantization of voiced plosives and fricative sibilant voicing in coda position) as possible parameters in the delimitation of phonological phrases.

The data analyzed have been gathered from two native Spanish speakers from the Central Peninsular variety of Spanish, who read 334 stimuli created for that purpose.

The results suggest that there is a phonological phrase boundary between the subject and the verb, especially in long subjects. Other syntactic structures seem to be mapped as prosodic constituents of lower or higher levels (prosodic words and intonational phrases, respectively).


prosodic hierarchy; voiced plosives; alveolar fricative; Spanish

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