This electro-palatographic study (EPG) compares the realization of the sibilant fricatives [s] and [ʃ] in two Spanish varieties (Argentine and Cuban), where these consonants differ in the phonemic affiliation of the post-alveolar sibilant fricative and in the presence vs. absence of a phonemic affricate. Custom-made palates were made for five speakers from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and three speakers from Havana, Cuba. The stimuli included 52 target words containing affricates, alveolar and post-alveolar sibilants. Results showed that both varieties differed in the realization of [s] in all the articulatory dimensions measured. The [s] in Argentine Spanish is significantly more fronted and is articulated with a higher degree of contact vis-à-vis Cuban Spanish. Consistently significant differences were also found in the realization of [ʃ], which was articulated significantly further back in Cuban Spanish. Cross-dialectal differences, however, do not seem to be systematically related to the inventory size, consistent with some previous acoustic studies (e.g. Evers et al., 1998), but with the overall degree of fronting of coronal consonants, as predicted by the Articulatory Settings Theory (Honikman 1969).
Selected Proceedings of the 5th Conference on Laboratory Approaches to Romance Phonology
edited by Scott M. Alvord
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