This study examines how Spanish bilinguals in the Peruvian Amazon realize voiced stops in intervocalic position in order to determine if the degree of weakening follows similar patterns of lenition found for monolingual Spanish speakers. Ten Bora-Spanish speakers (5 male, 5 female) are compared to ten speakers (4 female, 6 male) from Iquitos, the capital city of the department of Loreto. Since Bora does not have voiced stops /b d ɡ/, but rather a simple vs. aspirated voiceless contrast /p t k/ vs. /ph th kh/, these bilinguals may show variable acquisition of voiced stops and their approximant allophones [βðɣ]. Recordings were made of a semi-directed interview and a story retelling task. The change in intensity between the voiced stop and the following vowel was calculated, which provided a measure for the degree of lenition. Results showed less lenited stops for Bora-Spanish bilinguals than their monolingual Iquitos counterparts. In particular, Bora females showed the least amount of lenition and Bora males showed a mixture of behavior, while both Iquitos males and females showed greater degrees of lenition. These data demonstrate the potential influence of linguistic and extralinguistic factors (such as L1 phonological inventory and gender) on the variable production of stops in a contact variety of Spanish.
Selected Proceedings of the 6th Conference on Laboratory Approaches to Romance Phonology
edited by Erik W. Willis, Pedro Martín Butragueño, and Esther Herrera Zendejas Table of contents
ISBN 978-1-57473-467-6 library binding
vi + 174 pages
publication date: 2015
published by Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA, USA