8. Phonological features of attrition: The shift from Catalan to Spanish in Alicante

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This paper examines phonological attrition from a variationist viewpoint in an urban speech community where the target language is a marginalized one. This language is Catalan, the major speaking area of which is dominated by Spanish. Fieldwork is based on a sample of 69 subjects representing the small number of speakers born in the city who learned Catalan by engaging in natural meaningful communication. In the past, the phonological level of the grammar had remained the most faithful to the Catalan heritage in local speech. Recently, however, this component of grammar has become the most affected by attrition, as shown in the vocalic and consonantal systems, which are now converging from Catalan to Spanish.


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