Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Face, Timothy L.

See all formats and pricing
More options …

A study of ceceo variation in Western Andalusia (Huelva)

Brendan Regan
  • Corresponding author
  • The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Austin, TX, 78712, USA
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-05-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2017-0004


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


  • Alonso, Amado 1925. Crónica de los estudios de filología española. 1914–1924 (continuación). RLiR 1. 329–347.Google Scholar

  • Alonso, Amado 1953. Estudios Lingüísticos. Temas hispanoamericanos, Madrid: Gredos.Google Scholar

  • Alvar, Manuel, Antonio Llorente, Gregorio Salvador & José Mondéjar. 1973. Atlas lingüístico y etnográfico de Andalucía (ALEA). Vol. 6. Granada: Universidad de Granada-CSIC.Google Scholar

  • Alvar, Manuel. 1996. Manuel de dialectología hispánica: El español de España. Barcelona: Editorial Ariel, S.A.Google Scholar

  • Ash, Sharon. 2013. Social class. In Jack K. Chambers & Natalie Schilling-Estes (eds.), The handbook of language variation and change, 2nd edition, 350–367. Somerset: Wiley.Google Scholar

  • Auer, Peter & Frans Hinskens. 1996. The convergence and divergence of dialects in Europe. New and not so new developments in an old area. Sociolinguistica 10. 1–30.Google Scholar

  • Auer, Peter, Frans Hinskens & Paul Kerswill (eds.). 2005. Dialect change: Convergence and divergence in European languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Ávila Muñoz, Antonio Manuel. 1994. Variación reticular e individual de s/z en el Vernáculo Urbano Malagueño: Datos del barrio de Capuchinos. Analecta Malacitana 17. 343–367.Google Scholar

  • Bayley, Robert. 2002. The quantitative paradigm. In Jack K. Chambers, Peter Trudgill & Natalie Schilling-Estes (eds.), Handbook of language variation and change, 117–141. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar

  • Bourdieu, Pierre. 1991. Language and symbolic power. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP.Google Scholar

  • Bourdieu, Pierre & Luc Boltanski. 1975. Le fétichisme de la language. Actes de la recherché en sciences sociales 4. 2–32.Google Scholar

  • Caravedo, Rocío. 1992. ¿Restos de distinción /s/:/θ/en el español de Perú? Revista Filología Española 72. 639–654.Google Scholar

  • Carbonero, Pedro. 1982. Norma estándar y actitud sociolingüística: Sobre la aceptación y uso de algunos rasgos lingüísticos en hablantes sevillanos. In Pedro Carbonero & Vidal Lamíquiz (eds.), Sociolingüística andaluza, 141–150. Sevilla: Universidad de Sevilla.Google Scholar

  • Carbonero, Pedro. 1985. Aspectos sociolingüísticos sobre la nivelación en el español meridional. Revista de Filología Románica 3. 77–83.Google Scholar

  • Carbonero, Pedro, José Luis Álvarez, Joaquín Casas & Isabel M. Gutiérrez. 1992. El habla de Jerez: Estudio sociolingüístico. Jerez: Ayuntamiento (BUP. Cuadernos de divulgación).Google Scholar

  • Cedergren, Henrieta J. 1973. The interplay of social and linguistic factors in Panama. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University dissertation.Google Scholar

  • Chambers, Jack K. & Peter Trudgill. 1998. Dialectology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Chambers, Jack K., Peter Trudgill & Natalie Schilling-Estes (eds.). 2002. The handbook of language variation and change. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Cohen, Jacob. 1960. A coefficient of agreement for nominal scales. Educational and Psychological Measurement 20(1). 37–46.Google Scholar

  • Dalbor, John. B. 1980. Observations on present-day seseo and ceceo in Southern Spain. Hispania 63(1). 5–19.Google Scholar

  • de las Heras, Jerónimo, María Dolores Bardallo Bardallo, Carmen Castrillo Díaz, Juan Gallego Blanca, José María Padilla Valencia, José Romero Delgado, Valentín Torrejón Moreno & Carmen Vacas Muñoz. 1996. Perfil sociolingüístico del habla culta de la zona periurbana de Huelva. Aestuaria. Revista de Investigación 4. 109–124.Google Scholar

  • Docherty, Gerard J. & Paul Foulkes. 1999. Derby and Newcastle: Instrumental phonetics and variationist studies. In Paul Foulkes & Gerard Docherty (eds.), Urban voices: Accent studies in the British Isles, 1–24. Oxford: Arnold Publishers.Google Scholar

  • Eckert, Penelope. 1989. The whole woman: Sex and gender differences in variation. Language Variation and Change 1. 245–267.Google Scholar

  • Eckert, Penelope. 2000. Linguistic variation as a social practice: The linguistic construction of identity in Belten High. Malden: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar

  • Eckert, Penelope. 2008. Variation and the indexical field. Journal of Sociolinguistics 12. 453–476.Google Scholar

  • Eckert, Penelope & Sally McConnell-Ginet. 2003. Language and Gender. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Feria-Toribio, José María. 1994. Cambios recientes del poblamiento en la provincia de Huelva. Huelva en su Historia 5. 187–199.Google Scholar

  • García-Amaya, Lorenzo J. 2008. Variable norms in the production of /θ/in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. In Jason F. Siegel, Traci C. Nagle, Amandine Lorente-Lapole & Julie Auguer (eds.), IUWPL7: Gender in language: Classic questions, new contexts, 49–71. Bloomington, IN: IULC Publications.Google Scholar

  • Harris-Northall, Ray. 1992. Devoicing, deaffrication, and word-final –z in Medieval Spanish. Hispanic Linguistics 4(2). 245–274.Google Scholar

  • Hernández Campoy, Juan M. & Juan Andrés Villena Ponsoda. 2009. Standardness and nonstandardness in Spain: Dialect attrition and revitalization of regional dialects of Spanish. International Journal of Sociology of Language 196/197. 181–214.Google Scholar

  • Hickey, Raymond. 2004. Mergers, near-mergers and phonological interpretation. In Christian J. Kay, Carole Hough & Irené Wotherspoon (eds.), New perspectives on English historical linguistics, 125–137. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Hinrichs, Lars & Benedikt Szmrecsanyi. 2007. Recent changes in the function and frequency of standard English genitive constructions: A multivariate analysis of tagged corpora. English Language and Linguistics 11(3). 437–474.Google Scholar

  • Hinskens, Frans, Peter Auer & Paul Kerswill. 2005. The study of dialect convergence and divergence: Conceptual and methodological considerations. In Peter Auer, Frans Hinskens & Paul Kerswill (eds.), Dialect change: Convergence and divergence in European languages, 1–48. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Holmquist, Jonathan C. 1985. Social correlates of a linguistic variable: a study in a Spanish village. Language in Society 14. 191–203.Google Scholar

  • Hualde, José I. 2005. The sounds of Spanish. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.Google Scholar

  • Instituto Nacional de Estadística ‘National Institute of Statistics.’ [web site]. 2011. Madrid: INE. [Consulted April 2016]. Available at: http://www.ine.es/censos2011_datos/cen11_datos_enlaces.htm.

  • Johnson, Daniel Ezra. 2009. Getting off the GoldVarb standard: Introducing Rbrul for mixed-effects variable rule analysis. Language and Linguistics 3(1). 359–383.Google Scholar

  • Kerswill, Paul. 1994. Dialects converging: Rural speech in urban Norway. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar

  • Kerswill, Paul. 2002. Koineization and accommodation. In Jack K. Chambers, Peter Trudgill & Natalie Schilling-Estes (eds.). The handbook of language variation and change, 669–702. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Kerswill, Paul. 2004. Dialect levelling and geographical diffusion in British English. In David Britain & Jenny Cheshire (eds.), Social dialectology: In honour of Peter Trudgill, 223–243. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Kerswill, Paul & Peter Trudgill. 2005. The birth of new dialects. In Peter Auer, Frans Hinskens & Paul Kerswill (eds.), Dialect change: Convergence and divergence in European languages, 196–220. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Labov, William. 1966. The social stratification of English in New York City. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics.Google Scholar

  • Labov, William. 1972. Sociolinguistic patterns. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar

  • Labov, William. 1990. The intersection of sex and social class in the course of linguistic change. Language Variation and Change 2. 205–254.Google Scholar

  • Labov, William. 1994. Principles of linguistic change, Vol. 1: Internal factors. New York: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar

  • Labov, William. 2001. Principles of linguistic change, Vol. 2: Social factors. New York: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar

  • Labov, William. 2004. Quantitative reasoning in linguistics. In Ulrich Ammon (ed.), Sociolinguistics: An international handbook of the science of language and society, 1, 6–21. Berlin: de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Labov, William 2010. Principles of linguistic change, Vol. 3: Cognitive and cultural factors. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Lasarte Cervantes, María de la Cruz. 2010. Datos para la fundamentación empírica de la escisión fonemática prestigiosa de /θs/en Andalucía. Nueva Revista de Filología Hispánica 58(2). 483–516.Google Scholar

  • Lasarte Cervantes, María de la Cruz. 2012. Variación social en la percepción del contraste meridional entre /s/y /θ/en Málaga. In Juan Andrés Villena Ponsoda & A. Ávila Muñoz (eds.), Estudios sobre el español de Málaga: Pronunciación, vocabulario y sintaxis, 167–190. Málaga: Sarriá.Google Scholar

  • LePage, R.B. & André Tabouret-Keller. 1985. Acts of identity: Creole-based approaches to language and ethnicity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Mallinson, Christine & Robin Dodsworth. 2009. Revisiting the need for new approaches to social class in variationist sociolinguistics. Sociolinguistic Studies 3(2). 253–278.Google Scholar

  • Martínez Chacón, Alfonso. 1992. La ciudad de Huelva: Evolución, estructura y problemática actual. Huelva en su Historia 4: 305–322.Google Scholar

  • Martínez, María D. & Juan Antonio Moya Corral. 2000. Reacciones actitudinales hacia la variación dialectal en hablantes granadinos. Lingüística española actual 22(2). 137–160.Google Scholar

  • Melguizo Moreno, Elisabeth. 2007. La variación de /θs/: Estudio comparativo de dos muestras de población de Granada. ELUA 21(1). 1–16.Google Scholar

  • Melguizo Moreno, Elisabeth. 2009a. Estudio sociolingüístico del ceceo en dos comunidades de habla. Analecta Malacitana 27. 165–184.Google Scholar

  • Melguizo Moreno, Elisabeth. 2009b. Una aproximación sociolingüística al estudio del ceceo en un corpus de hablantes granadinos. Estudios de Lingüística Aplicada 49. 57–78.Google Scholar

  • Milanuncios.com [website]. 2016. Last consulted May 4, 2016. https://www.milanuncios.com/venta-de-viviendas-en-huelva-huelva/.

  • Milroy, James. 2003. On the role of the speaker in language change. In Raymond Hickey (ed.), Motives for language change. 143–157. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Milroy, James & Lesley Milroy. 1985. Authority in language: Investigating language prescription and standardisation. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar

  • Milroy, Lesley. 1980. Language and social networks. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Morillo Velarde, Ramón. 1997. Seseo, ceceo y seceo: Problemas metodológicos. In Antonio Narbona & Miguel Ropero (eds.), El habla andaluza, 201–221. Sevilla: Universidad de Sevilla.Google Scholar

  • Morillo Velarde, Ramón. 2001a. Recorrido lingüístico por la geografía andaluza. In Antonio Narbona (ed.), Actas de las Jornadas sobre el Habla Andaluza. Historia, normas y usos, 59–88. Estepa: Ayuntamiento.Google Scholar

  • Morillo Velarde, Ramón. 2001b. Sociolingüística en el ALEA: Variable generacional y cambio lingüístico. Estudios de Lingüística 15. 1–87.Google Scholar

  • Moya Corral, Juan Antonio & Emilio García-Wiedemann. 1995. El habla de Granada y sus barrios. Granada: Universidad.Google Scholar

  • Narbona, Antonio, Rafael Cano & Ramón Morillo Velarde. 1998. El español hablado en Andalucía. Barcelona: Ariel.Google Scholar

  • Navarro Tomás, Tomás, A.M. Espinosa & L. Rodríguez-Castellano. 1933. La frontera del andaluz. Revista de Filología Española 20. 225–277.Google Scholar

  • Paolillo, John C. 2001. Analyzing linguistic variation. Statistical models and methods. Leland Stanford: CSLI.Google Scholar

  • Patrick, Peter L. 2002. The speech community. In J.K. Chambers, Peter Trudgil & Natalie Schilling-Estes (eds.), The handbook of language variation and change, 573–598. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar

  • Penny, Ralph. 2000. Variation and change in Spanish. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.Google Scholar

  • Penny, Ralph. 2002 [1991]. Gramática histórica del español. Barcelona: Ariel.Google Scholar

  • Pensado, Carmen. 1993. El ensordecimiento castellano: ¿un <fenómeno extraordinario>? Anuario de lingüística hispánica 9. 195–230.Google Scholar

  • R Development Core Team. 2010. R: Language and environment for statistical computing. Software program.

  • Regan, Brendan. 2015. The demerger of ceceo through the urbanization of Andalucía. Paper presented at the 89th Linguistic Society of America (LSA) Annual Meeting. Portland, Oregon, January.Google Scholar

  • Ruch, Hanna & Jonathan Harrington. 2014. Synchronic and diachronic factors in the change from pre-aspiration to post-aspiration in Andalusian Spanish. Journal of Phonetics 45. 12–25.Google Scholar

  • Ruiz García, Marta. 2001. La inmigración industrial en Huelva: Procesos de integración de los trabajos del polo industrial. Trabajo 10. 159–177.Google Scholar

  • Salvador, Francisco. 1980. Niveles sociolingüísticos de seseo, ceceo y distinción en la ciudad de Granada. Español Actual 37–38. 25–32.Google Scholar

  • Sankoff, David & Suzanne Laberge. 1978. The linguistic market and the statistical explanation of variability. In David Sankoff (ed.), Linguistic variation: Models and methods, 239–250. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar

  • Sawoff, Adolf. 1980. A sociolinguistic appraisal of the sibilant pronunciation in the city of Seville. Festgabe für Norman Denison. Grazer Linguistische Studien 11–12. 238–262.Google Scholar

  • Stewart, Miranda. 1999. The Spanish language today. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Tagliamonte, Sali A. 2012. Variationist sociolinguistics: Change, observation, interpretation. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Trudgill, Peter. 1972. Sex, covert prestige and linguistic change in urban British English of Norwich. Language in Society 1(2). 179–195.Google Scholar

  • Trudgill, Peter. 1974. The social differentiation of English in Norwich. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Trudgill, Peter. 1986. Dialects in contact. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Villena Ponsoda, Juan A. & Antonio M. Ávila Muñoz. 2014. Dialect stability and divergence in southern Spain: Social and personal motivations. In Kurt Braunmüller, Steffen Höder & Karoline Kühl (eds.), Stability and divergence in language contact: Factors and mechanisms, 207–237. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Villena Ponsoda, Juan Andrés. 1994. La ciudad lingüística. Fundamentos críticos de la sociolingüística urbana. Granada: Universidad de Granada.Google Scholar

  • Villena Ponsoda, Juan Andrés. 1996. Convergence and divergence in a standard-dialect continuum: Networks and individuals in Malaga. Sociolinguistica 10. 112–137.Google Scholar

  • Villena Ponsoda, Juan Andrés. 2000. Identidad y variación lingüística: Sistema y síntoma en el español andaluz. In Georg Bossong & Francisco Báez De Aguilar (eds.), Identidades lingüísticas en la España autonómica, 107–150. Frankfurt/Madrid: Vervuert: Iberoamericana.Google Scholar

  • Villena Ponsoda, Juan Andrés. 2001. La continuidad del cambio lingüístico. Tendencias conservadoras e innovadoras en la fonología del español a la luz de la investigación sociolingüística urbana. Granada: Universidad de Granada.Google Scholar

  • Villena Ponsoda, Juan Andrés. 2005. How similar are people who speak alike? An interpretive way of using social networks in social dialectology research. In Peter Auer, Frans Hinskens & Paul Kerswill Dialect change: Convergence and divergence in European languages, 303–334. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Villena Ponsoda, Juan Andrés. 2007. Interacción de factores internos y externos en la explicación de la variación fonológica. Análisis multivariante del patrón de pronunciación no sibilante [θ] de la consonante fricativa coronal /θs/en el español hablado en Málaga. In Juan Anatonio Moya Corral & Marcin Sosinski (eds.), Las hablas andaluzas y la enseñanza de la lengua. Actas de las XII Jornadas sobre la Enseñanza de la Lengua Española (Granada, noviembre 2006), 69–97. Granada: Universidad de Granada.Google Scholar

  • Villena Ponsoda, Juan Andrés. 2008. Sociolinguistic patterns of Andalusian Spanish. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 193/194. 139–160.Google Scholar

  • Villena Ponsoda, Juan Andrés & Félix Requena Santos. 1996. Género, educación y uso lingüístico: La variación social y reticular de S y Z en la ciudad de Málaga. Lingüística (ALFAL) 8. 5–51.Google Scholar

  • Villena Ponsoda, Juan Andrés, José M. Sánchez-Sáez & Antonio M. Ávila-Muñoz. 1995. Modelos probabilísticos multinomiales para el estudio del seseo, ceceo y distinción de /s/y /θ/. Datos de la ciudad de Málaga. Estudios de Lingüística de la Universidad de Alicante 10. 391–435.Google Scholar

  • Villena Ponsoda, Juan Andrés & Matilde Vida Castro. 2012. La influencia del prestigio social en la reversión de los cambios fonológicos. Constricciones universales sobre la variación en el español ibérico meridional. Un caso de nivelación dialectal. In Juan Andrés Villena Ponsoda & Antonio Ávila Muñoz (eds.), Estudios sobre el español de Málaga. Pronunciación, vocabulario y sintaxis, 67–128. Málaga: SarriáGoogle Scholar

  • Wedel, Andrew. 2006. Exemplar models, evolution and language change. The Linguistic Review 23. 247–274.Google Scholar

  • Wedel, Andrew, Abby Kaplan & Scott Jackson. 2013. High functional load inhibits phonological contrast loss: A corpus study. Cognition 128. 179–186.Google Scholar

  • Wolfram, Walt. 1969. A sociolinguistic description of Detroit Negro Speech. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics.Google Scholar

  • Woolard, Kathryn A. 1985. Language variation and cultural hegemony: Toward an integration of sociolinguistic and social theory. American Ethnologist 12(4). 738–748.Google Scholar

About the article

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.

Export Citation

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in