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Abstract

Basque dialects differ substantially in their accentual properties. Previous work has focused mainly on phonological aspects of this prosodic diversity, such as the systems of rules for accent assignment. Less attention has been paid to variation in the acoustic realization of word-accent. Here we examine the realization of lexical accentual prominence in three different local varieties, which represent the three main Basque prosodic types: Azpeitia (in Gipuzkoa), Ondarroa (Northern Bizkaia) and Goizueta (Navarre). We consider the role of differences between syllables in pitch and duration in establishing lexical contrasts in these three Basque dialects. The three varieties examined differ substantially in the use of these acoustic features as correlates of accent, which raises questions about their diachronic development and about the typology of accentual systems.
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