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This paper investigates the language contact between Yucatecan Spanish and Yucatec Maya (Mayan) in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, at the level of the intonational realization of contrastive focus, and by means of the prosody of Spanish loanwords in Yucatec Maya. In Yucatec Maya, the maximally prominent constituent of an utterance is generally located at the leftmost part of the Intonational Phrase that contains the predicate (Verhoeven & Skopeteas 2015 reported similar results for Yucatec Maya and Uth 2016 for Yucatecan Spanish) unlike standard Mexican Spanish (as Carme De la Mota, Pedro Martín Butragueño and Pilar Prieto recorded in 2010). Here we present the results of an intonational comparison of contrastive focus utterances of Yucatecan Spanish and Yucatec Maya in order to test the hypothesis that this similarity is due to contact. Furthermore, we present additional evidence in favour of the presence of a left high tone in Yucatec Maya, based on a pilot study on the pronunciation of Spanish loanwords.


En este artículo investigamos el contacto lingüístico entre el español yucateco y el maya yucateco (maya) en la península de Yucatán, México, a nivel de la realización entonativa del foco contrastivo y a través de la prosodia de los préstamos del español en esta lengua maya. En maya yucateco, el constituyente máximamente prominente de un enunciado generalmente se encuentra en la parte más a la izquierda de la Frase Entonacional (Verhoeven & Skopeteas 2015 reportaron esto para el maya yucateco y Uth 2016 además reporta resultados similares para el español yucateco), lo cual es diferente del español mexicano estándar descrito por Carme De la Mota, Pedro Martín Butragueño y Pilar Prieto en 2010. Presentamos aquí los resultados de una comparación de la entonación de enunciados con focos contrastivos tanto del maya yucateco como del español yucateco para probar la hipótesis de que esta similitud se debe al contacto. Además, presentamos igualmente evidencia adicional a favor de la presencia de un tono alto en el linde izquierdo en maya yucateco.

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Published In

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies
Volume 97Number 1January 2020
Pages: 31 - 58


Published online: 1 January 2020
Published in print: January 2020



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