Labialización de las nasales finales: estudio comparativo en tres regiones de español americano

Uth, Melanie; Blestel, Élodie and Sánchez Moreano, Santiago (2024). Labialización de las nasales finales: estudio comparativo en tres regiones de español americano. Forma y Función, 37(I)




We compare the non-assimilative labialization of final nasals in Spanish in three corpora of American Spanish (Mexican, Colombian and Paraguayan). While non-assimilative labialization is known in Yucatecan Spanish, it is largely unknown in other Spanish-speaking regions, and is therefore often attributed to Mayan influence. However, similar pronunciation habits have coincidentally been reported in both Paraguay and Colombia. By empirically comparing labialization in three corpora produced on the same methodological basis, we conclude that the evidence in support of language contact is at best highly indirect. Regardless of this, we find that the most marked difference is that the rate of labialization seems to be determined by the length of the subsequent pause in the data from the Yucatecan peninsula, but not in those from Colombia and Paraguay. We argue that it is true that contact may have eventually triggered the development of this feature in Yucatecan Spanish, since contemporary Spanish has almost no labial final nasals, whereas Mayan does. However, linguistic profile (monolingual vs. bilingual speakers) has no effect on our Yucatecan and Paraguayan data, and in the totality of our data we also find no evidence to support the hypothesis that language contact would have played a (major) role in the development of labial nasals in the three varieties.

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