Dialect-specific acoustic correlates of stress in Spanish: The role of vowel compression and syllable structure

Gillian Marchini, Michael Ramsammy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The present paper is part of a wider project examining vowel compression and its impact on the phonetic signalling of stress across dialects of Spanish. Here within, we compare vowel compression effects in spontaneous Southern Chilean Spanish to previous findings from continuously read Altiplateau Mexican Spanish. Results show that, in Southern Chilean Spanish, vowels are shortened in CVC and CCV syllables irrespective of stress; although unstressed vowels are shorter than stressed, onset and coda-driven compression effects are visible on all vowels. Qualitative results show that stress-driven differences in vowel height are visible on /o/ and /a/ in open but not closed syllables: stressed vowels are lower in the vowel space. Conversely, results from Altiplateau Mexican Spanish showed that whilst unstressed vowels in CVC syllables were shortened and centralised, stressed vowels were not. Results therefore support theories that dialect-specific compression effects exist due to dialect-specific phonetic-phonological interactions (Authors under review): in this case, their interaction with stress. We further consider the implications of these variety-specific patterns in the context of debates concerning the dialect-specific nature of stress, arguing that compression effects may have implications on the wider vowel systems and the phonetic way in which stress is signalled across dialects.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalWorking papers in linguistics.
Issue number1
Early online date30 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2022
EventPenn Linguistics Conference - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 19 Mar 202121 Mar 2021
Conference number: 45


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