Spanish /ll/ --> /ly/ --> /y/

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Thu Jul 19 17:48:57 UTC 2001

Thanks to Rudy for his comments; I wasn't aware of the Illinois listings
but will send the title to them.  I'll also contact Mariella
Arredondo-Romero (now in Florida, I believe) and let her know of this.  She
has in fact presented the results at two conferences (one in New Mexico,
the other in Florida), so hopefully she now has helpful comments to
incorporate.  Incidentally, she also mentioned the affrication of /y/ but
seemed to think it was not yet common in Peru--at least she didn't test for it.

I've had several students look at the change of /s/ to /h/ or zero
(including one nice paper based on the "Cristina" show), and of /r/ (or is
it /rr/?) to /zh/; and most recently a Chilean student studied the deletion
of intervocalic and final /d/ in Latin American Spanish--as usual, based on
social and stylistic constraints.

At 09:30 PM 7/17/01 -0700, Rudy Troike wrote:
>Thanks to Beverly for the interesting information on the change in
>Peruvian Spanish. It looks like a textbook example of how sound changes
>spread. You should get the thesis listed in the Correo de Linguistica
>Andina published at the University of Illinois, and I hope your student
>will publish her findings.
>There is a huge literature on emigration to the New World, not to be
>replicated here, but not only were there regional differences within Spain
>at the time, it must be remembered that settlement continued for several
>hundred years, and different areas contributed differentially at different
>times and in different places, while the language was meanwhile changing,
>so that no simple answer is possible. The Caribbean, for example, shows
>the effects of late continuing immigration from Andalucia, where
>postvocalic -/s/ was aspirated to -/h/ and then disappeared. The letter
><x> was used at the time of the Conquest for a sound like that represented
>by our <sh>, which later shifted to the present velar fricative /x/.
>Missionary linguists were not slaves to Spanish orthography, but adapted
>it as necessary to represent various native languages of the New World,
>often having to represent sounds (phonemes) that did not exist in Spanish,
>or contrasts that did not exist in Spanish. The -<ll>- in Classical
>Nahuatl texts (and in writing modern varieties of Nahuatl) is just such an
>example. I wish Mike Salovesh had not dropped out of participation, as he
>could give a more detailed account of these matters from his experience in
>Mexico and Guatemala. Suffice to say that one need only pick up any
>dictionary or text on Nahuatl to see plenty of -<ll>-s, _not_ representing
>Incidentally, in many varieties of Spanish, /y/ is presently affricating,
>so <yo> (="I") is pronounced like English <Joe>.
>         Rudy

Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

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