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Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Face, Timothy L.

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Factors Influencing the Acquisition of Spanish Voiced Stop Spirantization during an Extended Stay Abroad

Scott M. Alvord / Diane E. Christiansen
Published Online: 2015-03-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2012-1129


The purpose of the current study is to investigate the acquisition of spirantization of /b, d, ɡ/ in the Spanish of adult learners who have spent two years abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. In addition to whether or not participants acquired spirantization, this study seeks to discover the influence of certain factors (e.g. style, prior Spanish instruction, Spanish language use, attitude, motivational intensity, etc.) on their target-like pronunciation of /b, d, ɡ/. Two different tasks were administered, one formal (a reading list) and another less formal (a read story). Tokens of /b, d, ɡ/ were analyzed spectrographically for manner of articulation. The results show that the majority of the learners pronounced target-like /b, d, ɡ/ over 80% of the time. A logistic regression analysis shows that the following factors are significant in their contribution to the acquisition of spirantization: Cultural Integration, Spanish language use, Empathy, Music Instruction, High School Spanish Instruction, and Motivational Intensity.

About the article

Published Online: 2015-03-20

Published in Print: 2012-09-01

Citation Information: Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, Volume 5, Issue 2, Pages 239–276, ISSN (Online) 2199-3386, ISSN (Print) 1939-0238, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2012-1129.

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