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Intaxis: a syntactical model of intonation

Abstract: In this paper a is presented. Although intended for present day Spanish, we believe its conclusions and procedures easily generalizable for other languages, once specified their particular tone rules. Since we intended to remain in the syntactical area, we attempted to avoid other contributions to the intonation curve such as pragmatical (, ), morphological, semantic and phonetic information. But all these linguistic levels have shown themselves to be interconnected with each other and with the syntactical level; we have therefore limited ‒where possible‒ the generality of our model to neutral assertive sentences with only three syntactical levels: Sentence, Theme‒Rheme Syntagma (constituent) and . Each one of these levels is represented by intonational , which, once added up, produce altogether the full sentence intonation. With these boundaries, the model is able to intone automatically a written text, and to provide a foreign speaker with a key to intone a text. To assess the goodness of this syntactical ordering, the concept is first defined, and then a theorem that states that any syntactical tree can be SWO, is proved. From the SIM a practical is derived, using also three punctuation signs: Full Stop, Theme‒Rhyme Comma and No-Comma (absence of comma). Since syntax is structure in the abstract level, and intonation is structure in the realization level, we will call, reflecting the signifiant/signifié duality, Intaxis this intonational syntax. The basic three-level models (SIM and PBM) are afterwards generalized for multi-sentence, multi-level, multi-mood and multi-lingual texts.



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