This article presents the effects of physical mobility on vowel raising among Spanish speakers living in the coffee zone of Puerto Rico. The main aims of this study are: (1) to understand the phonological process of vowel raising and (2) which social factors affect this feature the most. Vowel raising from /e/>[i] and from /o/>[u] were found to be associated with the local dialect of this area. The study is based on the tape-recorded interviews of 69 participants. The corpus was analyzed on the basis of education, occupation, physical mobility, gender, and age of the interviewees. Mobility proved to be the most important extralinguistic factor affecting the phonological variable. Age proved to be second most important factor. Generational groups demonstrate that vowel raising is slowly disappearing.
Selected Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics
edited by Jonathan Holmquist, Augusto Lorenzino, and Lotfi Sayahi
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