Article published in:Historical Linguistics 2013: Selected papers from the 21st International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Oslo, 5-9 August 2013
Edited by Dag T.T. Haug
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 334] 2015
► pp. 69–86
The evolution of the (alveolo)palatal lateral consonant in Spanish and Portuguese
This paper provides a formal account on the evolution of the (alveolo)palatal lateral consonant /ʎ/ in Spanish and Portuguese, by considering the phonetic motivation for its variation patterns and by connecting its synchronic dialectal distribution with its diachronic pathways of change. The novel approach in this study presents a unified, constraint-based view of the role that the articulatory and acoustic patterns of the aforementioned consonant have played in its history and continue to shape its current dialectal manifestations. More specifically, it proposes that the three apparently disconnected transformations this consonant incurred at different points throughout the history of Spanish (i.e. /ʎ/ > /j/, /ʎ/ > /ʝ/, /ʎ/ > /ʒ/) and Portuguese (i.e. /ʎ/ > /j/) reveal, in fact, integrated steps of changes that compose its historical evolution, i.e. /ʎ/ > /j/ > /ʝ/ > /ʒ/.
Keywords: (Alveolo)palatal lateral, diachrony, evolution, Portuguese, Spanish, synchrony
Published online: 01 October 2015
Cited by 2 other publications
Mooney, Damien & James Hawkey
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