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Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics

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A study of ceceo variation in Western Andalusia (Huelva)

Brendan Regan
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  • The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Austin, TX, 78712, USA
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Published Online: 2017-05-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2017-0004

Abstract

Throughout Europe many traditional dialects are converging towards regional or national standards due to large-scale societal changes such as increased education, mobility and dialect contact. In parts of southern Spain, the long-standing mergers of ceceo and seseo are yielding to the national standard of distinción. A quantitative sociolinguistic analysis of the coronal fricative variation of thirty-eight speakers was conducted to assess the status of ceceo in the city of Huelva in comparison to other Andalusian cities. As compared to earlier dialectal accounts of Huelva as predominantly ceceante, the results indicate a change from above in which the local ceceo is demerging to the standard Castilian distinción led by women from all socioeconomic groups as well as men from middle class neighborhoods. Ceceo appears to be converting into a linguistic marker correlating with men from working class neighborhoods with less formal instruction. The implications are that Huelva, similar to other Andalusian cities, has undergone large-scale societal changes that have led to the demerger of the traditional dialectal feature ceceo in favor of the national Castilian prestige feature of distinción.

Keywords: social dialectology; variationist sociolinguistics; ceceo; distinción; merger/demerger; Andalusian Spanish; sociophonology

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Published Online: 2017-05-02

Published in Print: 2017-05-01


Citation Information: Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 119–160, ISSN (Online) 2199-3386, ISSN (Print) 1939-0238, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2017-0004.

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