Edited by Irene Vogel
[Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 16] 2020
► pp. 93–108
A sociophonetic investigation of Mexico City Spanish vowel reduction
This study is the first to use acoustic data to investigate linguistic and social factors conditioning phonetic vowel reduction in Mexico City Spanish. The acoustic analysis reveals that two complementary strategies are used for reduction: voice weakening and shortening. Voice weakening affects all vowels at relatively similar rates, and is favored by preceding voiceless consonants, following voiceless consonants, and following pauses, and is most frequent in post-tonic position. Shortening affects high vowels and /o/, and is favored by preceding and following voiceless consonants, and is most frequent in pre-tonic position and unstressed monosyllabic words. These results support an articulatory gestural overlap analysis, in which characteristics of articulatory timing and movement account for the variation.