This thesis investigates the intonation of Argentine Spanish in Queens, NYC, with the goal of verifying if the unique prosody of producing early peak alignments in the F0 of Argentine Spanish, specifically of Porteños (those from Buenos Aires), is maintained among the intense contact influences with other varieties of Spanish in the area. Previous studies have reported this early peak alignment phenomenon in the Spanish spoken in Buenos Aires, and this paper strives to see if this still occurs among Argentine Spanish speakers in New York City. The Buenos Aires speakers were compared with other native Argentine Spanish speakers in New York City who originated from provinces other than Buenos Aires (primarily from Mendoza) to verify if the dialectal varieties of Argentine Spanish had remained the same under the intense language contact situation of living in Queens. The data in the current study are from interviews recorded during the summer of 2014 in the Queens, NYC neighborhood of Elmhurst. Acoustic information obtained includes total syllable duration, F0 measurements, and F0 patterns. Additional linguistic variables included vowel type and vowel syllable position within a word. Extralinguistic variables included speaker sex, age, origin in Argentina, educational level, number of years in NYC, and number of years in Argentina. Results indicate that early peak alignment does indeed occur among Argentine speakers in Queens, NYC; however, it is interesting to note that it not only occurs in the informants from Buenos Aires as predicted, but in the informants from outside Buenos Aires as well. This suggests that the Outside Buenos Aires speakers are undergoing prosodic dialectal leveling with their pitch accent patterns and an increase in stressed syllable duration as occur naturally among the Buenos Aires speakers.



College and Department

Humanities; Spanish and Portuguese



Date Submitted


Document Type





Spanish, phonetics, vowel lengthening, F0 peaks, early peak alignment, Argentina, Argentines, New York City Spanish, dialectal leveling, acoustic analysis, Praat, Queens, NYC, stressed syllables, Spanish in the United States