Loquens, Vol 2, No 1 (2015)

A stochastic approach to rhotic variation in Spanish codas


Mark Gibson
Universidad de Navarra, Spain


A stochastic analysis using aerodynamic and temporal variables is presented to explain tap/trill variation in Spanish codas. Simultaneous intraoral pressure (Po), translingual flow (F) and acoustic signals were obtained for two native speakers of Peninsular Spanish performing a rate-controlled reiterative task. Data were analyzed using linear mixed effects models fitted with random effects for speaker and repetition. The results show that tongue height and tongue anteriority of the preceding vowel affect the timing and aerodynamic parameters of the rhotic onset gesture, but the phonological specifications of the following consonants do not. Continuous variables were fit into a Bayesian logit regression model using noninformative priors which shows that tap/trill variation in coda can be predicted in part from aerodynamic and temporal parameters. Such a proposal obviates the need to resort to positional constraints to explain tap/trill variation in codas.


aerodynamic parameters; Spanish rhotics; variation

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