A sociophonetic analysis of trill production in Panamanian Spanish

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Studies have uncovered several non-standard trill realizations besides the multiple alveolar trill in different Spanish varieties (Lewis, 2004; Colantoni, 2006a; Willis, 2006; Díaz-Campos, 2008; among others). The present study adds to this body of literature by using variationist methods to analyze trill production in Panamanian Spanish. The sample consists of 608 tokens analyzed acoustically in Praat. Subsequently, multivariate analyses are carried out in Rbrul (Johnson, 2009). The acoustic analysis reveals eight variants, of which the most frequent is the normative trill with two or more occlusions. The multivariate analyses further revealed that variable trill production is significantly conditioned by both linguistic and extralinguistic factors (e.g. preceding segment type and speaker age). Furthermore, lexical frequency has an effect on normative/non-normative alternation, thus having important implications for phonological theory and sociophonetics in the Spanish-speaking world.


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