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ERIC Number: ED532424
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 450
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-0272-5
The Rise and Fall of Unstressed Vowel Reduction in the Spanish of Cusco, Peru: A Sociophonetic Study
Delforge, Ann Marie
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Davis
This dissertation describes the phonetic characteristics of a phenomenon that has previously been denominated "unstressed vowel reduction" in Andean Spanish based on the spectrographic analysis of 40,556 unstressed vowels extracted from the conversational speech of 150 residents of the city of Cusco, Peru. Results demonstrate that this process is more accurately described as vowel devoicing. Further examination of the data reveals that the phenomenon exhibits characteristics which depart from cross-linguistic trends; the mid-vowel /e/ is affected as frequently as the high vowels and devoicing occurs in both slow and fast speech. It is also noted that /s/ is the consonant most likely to trigger devoicing, but its effects are mediated by its syllabic affiliation. Unstressed vowels are more likely to devoice when followed by an /s/ in coda than when they precede an /s/ that forms the onset of the next syllable. Finally, findings indicate that devoicing is strongly associated with the nominal plural suffix. These phonetic results are explained in terms of gestural overlap as conceptualized by Articulatory Phonology (AP) and modeled using gestural alignment constraints (Gafos 2002) which translate the principles of AP into the framework of Optimality Theory. The morphological conditioning of the process is treated as a frequency effect as described in usage-based models of phonology. 3,527 unstressed vowels taken from the conversational speech of 15 monolingual Quechua speakers demonstrates that vowel devoicing occurs in this language, primarily affects vocoids adjacent to /s/ and is associated with the frequently occurring additive suffix "pas". These data as well analysis of 9,365 unstressed vowels from the Quechua-accented Spanish of 32 speakers support the hypothesis that Andean vowel devoicing is a contact phenomenon. The sociolinguistic correlates of devoicing in the primary sample of 150 Cusquenans indicate that the phenomenon is rapidly disappearing in this location. As the recession began in the speech of Cusco's elite who grew up during the city's transformation from an isolated provincial capital to a major tourist destination, it is interpreted as a case of dialect leveling and as a change from above. An attitude survey and matched guise document changing attitudes toward devoicing. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Peru