Case Studies in Honor of Anna María Escobar
Intervocalic fricative voicing in the Spanish of Barcelona: Considerations for contact-induced sociophonetic innovation
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This investigation constitutes a quantitative variationist approach toward Spanish in contact with Catalan in Barcelona, Spain. It seeks to empirically measure concrete usage patterns of a single phonetic variant, intervocalic [z], in the Spanish of Catalan-Spanish bilinguals, and establish the extent to which this variant is conditioned by both linguistic factors and language exposure and use. The careful Spanish speech of 20 Barcelonan females (ages 18–27) was elicited through a word-reading task. Goldvarb binomial logistic regression analyses revealed that sensitivity to linguistic factors varied according to exposure to and use of Catalan. Results with respect to the frequency of intervocalic [z] as well as linguistic constraints on [z] production are discussed in reference to those found for non-contact varieties of Spanish so as to assess the extent to which this phenomenon reflects contact-induced innovation and/or language-internal effects of lenition.
The present study examines patterns of language use with respect to a phonetic feature of Spanish in contact with Catalan, that is, the Spanish spoken by the diverse community of bilingual speakers of Catalan and Spanish in Barcelona, Spain. Spanish in contact with Catalan, henceforth referred to as Catalan Contact Spanish (CCS), can be described as a Catalanized variety of Spanish in that it exhibits features of Catalan syntax, morphology, lexicon, ← 119 | 120 → and phonetics.1 We focus on usage patterns of a CCS phonetic phenomenon traditionally ascribed to first language (L1) transfer from Catalan: the voicing of the intervocalic voiceless alveolar fricative [s] to...
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