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Transcription of the Intonation of Northeastern Brazilian Portuguese

Dabkowski, Meghan (2012) Transcription of the Intonation of Northeastern Brazilian Portuguese. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Among dialects of Brazilian Portuguese (henceforth BP), the variety spoken in the Northeast region of Brazil is considered to display a distinctive use of intonation. In attempt to understand this characterization, this thesis presents an analysis of the intonational phonology of five main phrase types in Northeastern BP (henceforth NEBP): declarative statements, absolute questions, wh- questions, echo questions, and imperative statements. Contrastive focus, enumeration, and disjunction were also investigated. Participants were 5 female natives of the region currently residing in Pittsburgh, PA. Utterances were elicited using an intonation questionnaire designed to evoke everyday situations (Prieto and Roseano, 2010), which was adapted to BP by the author.
This descriptive analysis is couched within Autosegmental Metrical theory, which posits a separate level of linear organization for the pitch track of an utterance, autonomous from the text, or segmental information, but associated with it via tonal alignment with metrically strong syllables and phrase edges. Within this model, the Tone and Break Index (ToBI) system is used to transcribe intonational features. Given that there are no existing transcriptions of the intonation of NEBP within the ToBI system, this study aims to fill that gap by providing a description of various modal and pragmatic uses of intonation.
Findings that differentiate this dialect from European and southeastern Brazilian dialects include the consistent use of upstep in marking contrastive focus and two opposing variants for both yes-no questions, and wh-questions.
It is hoped that the present findings will add to the body of work on dialectal variation in intonation, and will contribute to our general understanding of intonational patterning across languages.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Dabkowski, Meghanmfd20@pitt.eduMFD20
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairOrtega-Llebaria, Martamao61@pitt.eduMAO61
Committee MemberGooden, Shelomesgooden@pitt.eduSGOODEN
Committee MemberJuffs, Alanjuffs@pitt.eduJUFFS
Date: 29 May 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 9 April 2012
Approval Date: 29 May 2012
Submission Date: 1 April 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 89
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Linguistics
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Brazilian Portuguese, Intonation, ToBI
Date Deposited: 29 May 2012 20:16
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:57


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