The intonational patterns used in Spanish yes-no questions of Hungarian speakers

Kata Baditzné Pálvölgyi


The present paper offers an overview of our investigations concerning the intonation of Spanish yes-no questions by Hungarian learners of Spanish. We now focus on linguistic aspects of intonation: which melodic patterns are used by Hungarian learners of Spanish in three subcategories of yes-no interrogatives: neutral yes-no questions, incredulous echo yes-no questions and yes-no questions followed by a vocative. We analyse these subtypes as their intonation in Spanish and in Hungarian is radically different. The Spanish intonation is characterised by final rises in all these three areas, whereas in Hungarian, we can rather detect the presence of a rising-falling melody. Rise-falls are not excluded from the inventory of Spanish interrogative patterns, but their presence is relatively low, and they usually accompany marked yes-no questions. Our aim is to find out on which areas should a language teacher lay more emphasis as far as the correct intonation is concerned.

Paraules clau

Yes-no interrogatives; Melodic patterns; Rise; Rise-fall; Negative transfer

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