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Book: Phonology in Protolanguage and Interlanguage

Chapter: 10. The Acquisition of Second Dialect Speech: An Acoustic Examination of the Production of Ecuadorian Spanish Assibilated Rhotics by Andalusian Speakers of Spanish

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.31680


This chapter focuses on an acoustic study in order to determine whether equivalence classification in the acquisition of second dialect speech operates in a similar fashion to second language acquisition of speech. In particular, we report on the results of a real word and a nonce word imitation task that were conducted to examine whether native Andalusian Spanish speakers could accurately imitate Ecuadorian Spanish assibilated rhotics. The results show that two distinct patterns of production emerged in the real and nonce word imitation tasks that mirror the results previously reported in Rafat (2015) for naïve English-speaking participants' productions of assibilated rhotics. Whereas the assibilated rhotics in the real word imitation task were mainly realized as rhotics as in the auditory-orthographic condition in Rafat (2015), they were produced as sibilants in the nonce words imitation task as in the auditory-only group in Rafat (2015). An acoustic analysis of the results also demonstrated that not all features of these rhotics were equally acquirable. Moreover, assibilated rhotic production was constrained by the social factor gender.

Chapter Contributors

  • Esperanza Ruíz-Peña ( - eruizpena) 'Western University'
  • Diego Sevilla ( - dsevilla) 'Pennsylvania State University'
  • Yasaman Rafat ( - yrafat) 'Western University'