Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1571-0718
  • E-ISSN: 1571-0726
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Nicaraguan Spanish is characterized by the reduction of coda /s/ to glottal frication, elision, and glottal constriction, but the latter variant has never been explored in depth. The present study fills this void by analyzing the word-final, intervocalic /s/ environment in sociolinguistic interviews, reading tasks, and image identification tasks conducted with 36 Nicaraguans with the goal of detailing the social patterning of glottal constriction. I find that glottal constriction patterns like sibilance, a hyperarticulated variant, and a statistical analysis reveals two distinct hyperarticulation strategies in formal tasks based on age and education. Given their differing responses to formality, I propose that more educated and younger speakers with more exposure to prescriptive norms apply sibilance, a global hyperarticulation strategy, to signal their education and power on an international scale, while less educated and older speakers utilize glottal constriction to construct an identity associated with regional articulateness.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): formality strategies; hyperarticulation; Nicaraguan Spanish; standardization
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