Spanish voiced obstruents are traditionally described as having a stop allophone [b, d, g] and a lenited allophone [β, ð, ɣ]. Despite this binary classification, acoustic data has shown that this variation is continuous or gradient depending on the preceding linguistic context. The goal of this paper is to investigate how the following linguistic context affects the degree of Spanish voiced obstruent lenition. Specifically, this paper reports an acoustic investigation of Spanish voiced obstruent lenition in onset cluster contexts. Nine native Spanish speakers were recorded reading Spanish-like nonce words that included a singleton voiced obstruent or an onset cluster consisting of a voiced obstruent plus [ɾ] or [l]. The relative intensity and the duration of these segments were measured and compared with linear mixed-effects regressions. In line with past work, the results show that the voiced obstruents are the most lenited in intervocalic contexts. However, Spanish voiced obstruents are significantly less lenited when followed by [ɾ] in a complex onset; when followed by [l] in a complex onset, the degree of lenition is much more variable. These results provide further support for the gradient lenition of Spanish voiced obstruents, rather than a dichotomous distribution of stops versus lenited variants.
The main aim of the study is to ascertain contrastively, in English and Spanish, how directive speech acts are represented in film discourse. For the purpose of the investigation, the directive speech acts of 24 films, 12 in English and 12 in Spanish, were extracted and analysed. A classification taxonomy, inspired by previous research, was created in order to categorize the different types of directive speech acts and determine their level of (in)directness. The results show that indirectness is more widely represented in the English than in the Spanish film scripts, thus confirming the assertion that being indirect is a distinctive feature of English native speakers (Grundy, 2008). This research makes a valuable contribution to the exploration of speech acts in filmspeak and informs the existing local grammar descriptions of the linguistic patterns of directive speech acts.