Spanish Prosody in The Cat in the Hat
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The book, The Cat in the Hat, is a popular pick for children under 3 years old. Predictable metric and rhyming structure is composed of multiple metric levels. Prosodic cues such as intensity, duration, pitch and intonation create these distinct metric levels in a language. This study aims to analyze whether Spanish speakers employ prosodic cues to construct a metrical hierarchy, and if so, how. Metrical hierarchy in a language conveys information regarding the location of beat and stress in an utterance. Spanish speakers were asked to read El Gato Ensombrerado, the Spanish translation of The Cat in the Hat. The recordings were then analyzed, specifically looking at duration, intensity, and pitch. Where we found significant effects in all of these dependent variables, which were intensity, duration, and pitch. Our findings can contribute to the understanding of child directed speech structure to help children’s language acquisition.