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Friday, October 11 • 3:40pm - 5:30pm
(F1) Gilbert: An acoustic study of stylistic and contact-induced variability in Uruguayan Spanish

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An acoustic study of stylistic and contact-induced variability in Uruguayan Spanish

Studies of sociolinguistic variation typically compare averages/percentages of variants in different groups and styles, abstracting over within-group variability. These findings are important, but potentially miss socially and stylistically meaningful differences in amount of variability. I analyze within-group variability in two varieties of Uruguayan Spanish (monolingual Montevideo; multilingual Spanish/Portuguese Rivera) and in two speech styles (interviews; word lists). I measure intervocalic /bdɡ/ spirantization and aspiration in /sC/ clusters, processes that are near-categorical in Uruguayan Spanish but rare in local Portuguese. In both cities, word lists are (unexpectedly) more variable than interviews. Additionally, within each style, Rivera (multilingual) is more variable than Montevideo (monolingual). This two-level effect, whereby multilingualism builds on a stylistic effect, may result from conflicting social connotations associated with the variants, combined with high input variability in Rivera. The results have implications for how speakers build repertoires of allophonic variation and how linguists use word lists in research.

Speakers
MG

Madeline Gilbert

New York University


Friday October 11, 2019 3:40pm - 5:30pm PDT
EMU Ballroom