[Correcting the record on Dominican [s]-hypercorrection, Part I. Phonetics/Phonology]

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Theoretical linguistic treatments of Dominican [s]-hypercorrection all assume the hypotheses, advanced by Terrell (1986), that lexical forms in popular Dominican Spanish no longer contain any trace of coda or final /s/ and, thus, speakers randomly insert them into syllable- and word-final position (Terrell 1986; Núñez-Cedeño 1988, 1989, 1994; Harris 2002; Bradley 2006; Vaux 2001, 2002). We demonstrate that Terrell’s premises ensue from an inadequate description of Dominican [s]-insertion and, as a consequence, phonological theories based on them cannot account for the range of actual, as opposed to hypothesized, exemplars that occur in Dominican speech. Using natural data, we argue that [s]-hypercorrection is inaccurately described as a rule that targets the syllable coda and is instead much more complex.


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