The functions of prosody in the reported speech of rural Southwestern Nicaraguans

  • Jeff Michno Furman University, EE.UU.
Palabras clave: evidentiality, identity, personal narratives, pitch, stance


This paper contributes new evidence of the evidential and stance-taking functions of prosody in reported speech. Analysis of direct reported speech in an understudied vernacular Spanish suggests that prosody: (1) marks the boundaries of reported speech, (2) marks boundaries between multiple story-world voices, and (3) serves as a stance-taking device. Pitch average and, to a lesser extent, pitch range, were found to play a role in contextualizing reported speech. Pitch shifts tended to accompany reported speech as a unit rather than centering on a flanking intonational phrase boundary, although post-hoc analysis suggests an effect for prosodic breaks preceding reported speech. A mixed-methods analysis answers a call to assess the simultaneous functions of prosody in marking reported speech and in stance-taking. Pitch changes consistently marked dialogic reported speech, while changes in voice quality, rate, and rhythm variably accompanied salient linguistic markers in the reported speech of in- and out-group characters.

Cómo citar
Michno, J. (2021). The functions of prosody in the reported speech of rural Southwestern Nicaraguans. Semas, 2(3), 45-67. Recuperado a partir de