Durational cues to resyllabification in Spanish





Spanish, resyllabification, duration, articulatory gestures, ambisyllabicity


Word-final consonants in Spanish are post-lexically resyllabified when followed by an onsetless syllable, e.g. venden aves (‘they sell birds’) is traditionally syllabified as ven.de.na.ves and is considered homophonous with vende naves (‘he sells ships’). This study analyzes such two-word minimal pairs inserted in prosodically equivalent sentences read from a list and provides measurements of the acoustic duration of resyllabified /s/, /n/, and /l/, and of their flanking vowels. A mixed-model analysis showed that, when resyllabified as derived onsets, all three consonants pattern together and show a shorter duration (venden aves) in comparison with canonical onsets (vende naves). This is consistent with the coda position that they occupy in the lexical representation, given the weak nature of codas. However, vowel duration varies according to consonant identity. These results are discussed in terms of the articulatory gestures making up the target consonants and allow to interpret that the resyllabified consonant actually becomes the onset of the following syllable. Therefore, we offer converging evidence of resyllabified consonants acting both as codas and onsets, and consequently we propose they can be analyzed as ambisyllabic.


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How to Cite

Jiménez-Bravo, M., & Lahoz-Bengoechea, J. M. (2023). Durational cues to resyllabification in Spanish. Loquens, 10(1-2), e099. https://doi.org/10.3989/loquens.2023.e099