A study of the phono-styles used by two different Spanish-speaking political leaders: Hugo Chavez and José L. R. Zapatero.

Author(s): Carmen Patricia Pérez


Politicians’ speech styles can be distinguished by their prosodic realizations. Generally, we can recognize a ‘revolutionary’ or a ‘traditional’ politician by just listening to a few minutes’ discourse; in this paper, I try to show which prosodic features enable us to do so, comparing the phono-styles of two politicians, Hugo Chávez (HC) from Venezuela and José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (Z) from Spain, in public ‘spontaneous’ speeches. Moreover, I will show the differences between HC’s productions in an interview and in a ‘spontaneous’ public speech. Philippe Martin’s ‘melodic slope contrast’ model has been used to describe the prosodic structure and its relation with the syntactic one. The acoustic analysis illustrates the fact that the phono-styles of these political leaders differ in a similar speech situation (‘phono-genre’), mainly in (i) the realization of continuation melodic contours, (ii) the F0 range, and (iii) the speech rate, while the construction of the intonation phrases is of the same type.