Testing for underlying representations: Segments and clusters in Sevillian Spanish
Madeline Gilbert
March 2023

The current study investigates the representational status of [Ch] sequences in Sevillian Spanish. Like many Spanish varieties, Sevillian debuccalizes coda /s/ to [h] (/sC/ --> [hC]). Unlike other varieties, Sevillian is undergoing a change whereby [hC] sequences are variably realized as [Ch] sequences. I argue that surface (phonetic) [Ch] sequences are metathesized versions of underlying /sC/ clusters, and have not phonologized into a new series of aspirated stops /p^h, t^h, k^h/. Evidence supporting the /sC/ cluster analysis comes from a perception study in which Sevillians reconstruct /s/ on the word preceding [Ch] sequences. Listeners of other dialects do not attribute [h] in [Ch] sequences to a preceding /s/. I present a brief cross-dialectal analysis corresponding to the participant groups’ different behavior in the perception experiment, in which the dialects share underlying representations but map them differently to surface forms. I also discuss reasons the aspirated stop analysis may be implausible, from both a learning and analytical perspective. The findings have broader implications for our understanding of the mapping between underlying and surface forms, segments, and the connection between dialect variation and perception.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007154
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: NLLT (accepted)
keywords: phonetics, experimental, metathesis, perception, underlying representations, phonology, spanish
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