1st Edition

Sociolinguistic Approaches to Sibilant Variation in Spanish

Edited By Eva Núñez-Méndez Copyright 2021
    370 Pages 56 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    370 Pages 56 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Social processes and the nature of language variation have driven sibilant variation across the Spanish-speaking world. This book explores the current state of Spanish sibilants and their dialectal variations.

    Focusing on different processes undergone by sibilants in Spanish (e.g., voicing, devoicing, weakening, aspiration, elision) in various geographical areas and language contact situations, each chapter offers an analysis on a unique sociolinguistic case from different formal, experimental, and data-based approaches. The opening chapter orients the reader with an overview of sibilant system’s evolution, which serves as an anchor to the other chapters and facilitates understanding for readers new to the topic. The volume is organized around three thematic sections: part one, Spain; part two, United States; and part three, Central and South America. The collection includes research on dialects in both Peninsular and Trans-Atlantic Spanish such as Jerezano, Caribbean Spanish in Boston and New York City, Cuban Spanish in Miami, Colombia-Barranquilla Spanish, northern Buenos Aires Argentine Spanish, and USA heritage Spanish, among other case studies.

    This volume offers an original and concise approach to one of the most studied variables in Spanish phonetics, taking into account geographically-based phonetic variation, sociolinguistic factors, and various Spanish language contact situations. Written in English, this detailed synthesis of the wide-ranging geolinguistic features of Spanish sibilants provides a valuable resource for scholars in Hispanic studies, linguistics, Spanish dialectology and sociolinguistics.

    PART I. Spain

    Ch. 1 An overview of the sibilant merger and its development in Spanish

    Eva Núñez Méndez

    Ch. 2 Sibilants in Western Andalusian Spanish: the lack of a Sevillian norm in the

    Jerezano speech community

    Jannis Harjus

    Ch. 3 Intervocalic /s/-voicing in Spanish in contact with Catalan

    Justin Davidson


    PART II. United States

    Ch. 4 Describing and analyzing variability in Spanish /s/: a case study of Caribbeans in Boston

    and New York City

    Daniel Gerard Erker and Madeline Reffel

    Ch. 5 Variable realization of final /s/ in Miami Cuban Spanish: the reversal of diachronic

    language change

    Andrew Lynch and Antoni Fernández Parera

    Ch. 6 Variable /s/-voicing by heritage Spanish speakers in the United States

    Amanda Boomershine and Jon Stevens


    PART III. Central and South America

    Ch. 7 /s/-weakening in Nicaragua

    Whitney Chappell

    Ch. 8 A sociophonetic approach to /s/-realization in the Colombian Spanish of Barranquilla

    Richard File-Muriel Earl Brown and Michael Gradoville

    Ch. 9 /s/-voicing in Ecuadorian Spanish

    John Lipski

    Ch. 10 Syllable-final /s/-variation in an Uruguayan Spanish-Portuguese contact variety

    Mark Waltermire

    Ch. 11 Variable voicing in Argentine Spanish /ʒ/

    Michael Gradoville


    Eva Núñez is Professor of Spanish Linguistics at Portland State University, USA.