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Bookmark and Share Paper 2675

Phonetic Interference of Catalan in Barcelonan Spanish: A Sociolinguistic Approach to Lateral Velarization
Justin Davidson
319-339 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


The present study examines the modern status of a salient phonetic feature of Barcelonan Spanish, a variety of Iberian Spanish in contact with Catalan in Catalonia, Spain. The contact phenomenon under investigation is the velarization of a voiced alveolar lateral to a voiced velarized lateral in coda position. Formal speech samples from 32 bilingual Spanish-Catalan university students are subjected to spectrographic analysis. By examining specific linguistic contexts that favor lateral velarization in Barcelonan Spanish and correlating the degree of lateral velarization with a series of social factors, we discuss possibilities for a linguistic change in progress wherein the degree of lateral velarization in Barcelonan Spanish is becoming restricted and more salient over time as an effect of a social stigma associated with the use of the velarized lateral. The results of the present study, subjected to statistical analyses, reveal that lateral velarization in Barcelonan Spanish continues to be a prevalent contact feature, resulting from L1-L2 transfer effects of Catalan to Spanish. Moreover, divergent trends in the use and degree of lateral velarization by gender within and outside of Barcelona county, as well as across different age groups, provide evidence for the status of the velarized lateral as a sociolinguistic phonetic variant of this contact variety of Spanish.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 14th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Kimberly Geeslin and Manuel Díaz-Campos
Table of contents
Printed edition: $295.00