Quasi-neutralization of stress contrasts in Spanish

Francisco Torreira, Miquel Simonet, José I. Hualde

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We investigate the realization and discrimination of lexical stress contrasts in pitch-unaccented words in phrase-medial position in Spanish, a context in which intonational pitch accents are frequently absent. Results from production and perception experiments show that in this context durational and intensity cues to stress are produced by speakers and used by listeners above chance level. However, due to substantial amounts of phonetic overlap between stress categories in production, and of numerous errors in the identification of stress categories in perception, we suggest that, in the absence of intonational cues, Spanish speakers engaged in online language use must rely on contextual information in order to distinguish stress contrasts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-201
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Speech Prosody
StatePublished - 2014
Event7th International Conference on Speech Prosody, SP 2014 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: May 20 2014May 23 2014


  • Lexical stress
  • Phonological neutralization
  • Spanish
  • Stress cues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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