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La Oclusión Glotal y la Construcción Lingüística de Identidades Sociales en Puerto Rico
Wilfredo Valentín-Márquez
326-341 (complete paper or proceedings contents)

Abstract

This article describes the sociolinguistic distribution of the glottal stop in Puerto Rico, where the articulation has been recently incorporated as a realization of word-final prevocalic /s/. The quantitative analyses examined the role of linguistic factors and the contribution of the age and sex of 22 participants from Cabo Rojo, a municipality in the southwestern corner of the Island. The Chi-square tests found statistically significant evidence that the glottal stop was more frequently pronounced in the discourse markers pues and entonces (p = 0.0116) and before stressed vowels (p = .0224). Also, the analyses of variance (two-way ANOVA) determined that the articulation was favored by the adolescent participants and, within this group, by the female speakers (p < .0001). The adoption of the glottal stop is explained as a result of contact with American English, by way of the newly popularized musical genre known as reggaeton. The social findings are interpreted in the light of the teenagers' social networks, their attitudes towards reggaeton, and their practices in managing the linguistic construction of their generational identity. Finally, given the speech solutions provided by the glottal stop as compared to the other variants of /s/ (e.g., the disambiguation of phrases that are identically pronounced when /s/ is deleted), this study considers the potential incorporation of the feature in Puerto Rican Spanish, as a resource to affirm Puerto Rican national identity in face of the increasingly growing population of Dominican nationals, the largest group of immigrants with whom the Island inhabitants are in contact and whose dialect is characterized by very high frequencies of /s/ deletion.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 9th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Nuria Sagarra and Almeida Jacqueline Toribio
Table of contents
Printed edition: $250.00