Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Pitch accent alignment in Romance: primary and secondary associations with metrical structure

Abstract : The article describes the contrastive possibilities of alignment of high accents in three Romance varieties, namely, Central Catalan, Neapolitan Italian, and Pisa Italian. The Romance languages analyzed in this article provide crucial evidence that small differences in alignment in rising accents should be encoded phonologically. To account for such facts within the AM model, the article develops the notion of 'phonological anchoring' as an extension of the concept of secondary association originally proposed by Pierrehumbert & Beckman (1988), and later adopted by Grice (1995), Grice, Ladd & Arvaniti (2000) and others to explain the behavior of edge tones. The Romance data represent evidence that not only peripheral edge tones seek secondary associations. We claim that the phonological representation of pitch accents should include two independent mechanisms to encode alignment properties with metrical structure: (1) encoding of the primary phonological association (or affiliation) between the tone and its tone-bearing unit; and (2), for some specific cases, encoding of the secondary phonological anchoring of tones to prosodic edges (moras, syllables and prosodic words). The Romance data described in the article provide crucial evidence of mora-edge, syllable-edge, and word-edge H tonal associations.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [31 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : Cnrs : Umr6057 Laboratoire Parole Et Langage <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, September 2, 2008 - 1:48:29 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 7, 2019 - 4:10:11 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 7:22:22 PM


Files produced by the author(s)


  • HAL Id : hal-00316027, version 1



Pilar Prieto, Mariapaola d'Imperio, Barbara Gili Fivela. Pitch accent alignment in Romance: primary and secondary associations with metrical structure. Language and Speech, SAGE Publications (UK and US), 2005, 48 (4), pp.359-396. ⟨hal-00316027⟩



Record views


Files downloads