A comparison of fricative voicing and lateral velarization phenomena in Barcelona

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This investigation constitutes a quantitative variationist approach toward Spanish in contact with Catalan in Barcelona, Spain. It seeks to empirically measure concrete usage patterns of two phonetic variants, [ɫ] and [z], in the Spanish of Catalan-Spanish bilinguals, as well as establish the extent to which both variants are conditioned by linguistic factors and Catalan dominance. The careful Spanish speech of 20 Barcelonan females (ages 18–27) was elicited through a word-reading task. Goldvarb binomial logistic regression analyses revealed that sensitivity to linguistic factors varied according to Catalan dominance. Moreover, although both variants were favored most by Catalan-dominant speakers, usage patterns among more Spanish-dominant speakers were divergent, consistent with claims of negative social value linked solely to [ɫ]


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