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Acoustic Characterization of Phonemic Trill Production in Jerezano Andalusian Spanish
Nicholas C. Henriksen and Erik W. Willis
115-127 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper examines the extent to which the articulation of the Spanish phonemic trill is subject to variation in unscripted speech samples taken from 16 native speakers of Andalusian Spanish. The speakers were from Jerez, Andalusia, Spain, an area where no dialectally remarkable production of the trill had been reported prior to this research study. The acoustic analysis was based on a total of 572 tokens corresponding to the phonemic trill in intervocalic word-initial and word-medial positions. Results indicated that approximately 30% of all phonemic trill productions included two or more apical closures, and that the remainder of the corpus was distributed among fricatives, approximants, and r-colored variants. No single non-canonical variant could be selected as the prototypical Jerezano Andalusian Spanish variant, a distribution reminiscent of that of English /r/, where variation at the level of the individual speaker has been well-documented. Examination of the linguistic variables underlying trill variation revealed an effect for prosodic position: in particular, the number of occlusions produced in word-medial unstressed trills was significantly greater than in word-initial unstressed trills. In terms of social variability, older generation males were shown to produce the least number of closures per phonemic trill production. In sum, the acoustic findings have implications for phonetics, phonology, dialectal studies, and sociolinguistics.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 4th Conference on Laboratory Approaches to Spanish Phonology
edited by Marta Ortega-Llebaria
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Printed edition: $205.00