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Segmental and Intonational Evidence for a Los Angeles Chicano Spanish Vernacular

  • Author(s): Andrade, Argelia
  • Advisor(s): Parodi, Claudia
  • Quicoli, Carlos
  • et al.
Abstract

This dissertation has two complementary objectives. First, the present study provides a contemporary reading of hispanista research about Mexican Spanish, including Chicano Spanish. In addition, this dissertation presents an overview and analysis of intonational findings of both Mexican Spanish (from the Los Altos region in Jalisco) and Chicano Spanish (from Los Angeles, California), based on original data. Using experimental and naturalistic data, this study provides evidence for the existence of a Los Angeles Chicano Spanish vernacular. Since Salvadoran Americans and Mexican Americans produced the same intonational patterns regardless of their home dialect, Chicano Spanish must exist and is actively used as part of the linguistic tool-kit of Angelenos. Using the Tones and Breaks Indices system (ToBI), the examination provides a preliminary phonological label of observed tones and a description of observed contours for sentence types spoken by Salvadoran Americans and Mexican Americans living in Los Angeles. In general, independently of the Spanish spoken at home (Salvadoran or Mexican Spanish), especially in scripted data, the tonal patterns of Angelenos were found to be similar. This provides strong evidence for the existence of a Los Angeles Chicano Spanish vernacular. The findings for the Mexican Spanish data indicate the following: The default pre-nuclear pitch accents are L*+H (L*+!H), H* (!H*), L*, L+H*, and L+^H*. The boundary tones are H% and L%. And, phonological events such as tone clash and tone lapse shape the intonational excursion. The findings for the Chicano Spanish data indicate the following: The default pre-nuclear pitch accent is L*+H (L*+!H). The nuclear pitch accents are H* (!H*) and L*. The boundary tones are H%, L% and M%. In addition, phonological events such as tone clash and tone lapse shape the intonational excursion.

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