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Spanish s as h

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  • MorphemeAddict
    Where is s spoken as h in Spanish-speaking world? What are the conditions for this sound change? stevo
    Message 1 of 12 , Jun 20, 2013
      Where is s spoken as h in Spanish-speaking world? What are the conditions
      for this sound change?

      stevo
    • John Q
      ... You can definitely hear it in Cuban Spanish as well as several pockets in South America. It occurs wherever /s/ is in syllable-final position. So the
      Message 2 of 12 , Jun 20, 2013
        On Thu, 20 Jun 2013 16:22:13 -0400, MorphemeAddict <lytlesw@...> wrote:

        >Where is s spoken as h in Spanish-speaking world? What are the conditions
        >for this sound change?
        ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        You can definitely hear it in Cuban Spanish as well as several pockets in South America. It occurs wherever /s/ is in syllable-final position. So the word "estos" is pronounced [eh.toh]. Many speakers take this further and pronounce it [e:to:]. if you've ever watched the popular variety program "Sábado Gigante" on Saturday nights on the Univision channel you'll notice the host Don Francisco has this accent. The show comes from Chile, although I don't know if that's where he's from originally. The popular Spanish-lamguage TV host Cristina Saralegui, who hosted her own show called Cristina for many years, also speaks this way. She is Cuban.

        --John Q.
      • Njenfalgar
        2013/6/20 MorphemeAddict ... According to my knowledge of Spain, it is mostly a southern thing, but it seems to be creeping northward. The
        Message 3 of 12 , Jun 20, 2013
          2013/6/20 MorphemeAddict <lytlesw@...>

          > Where is s spoken as h in Spanish-speaking world? What are the conditions
          > for this sound change?
          >
          > stevo
          >

          According to my knowledge of Spain, it is mostly a southern thing, but it
          seems to be creeping northward. The conditions of the sound change are
          rather place-dependent, as is the final point of the sound change. In
          Murcia all syllable-final /s/'s are deleted, and the vowel before becomes
          lax, giving Murcian Spanish a ten-vowel system. In Granada syllable-final
          /s/ is changed into [h], sometimes becoming aspiration on the vowel before,
          in rapid speech becoming inaudible to my ears. I know some people in
          Valencia who speak Spanish natively and who only delete /s/ now and then.
          If I remember correctly (I haven't been there for almost a year) /s/ is
          more unstable in front of /t/ than in front of /p/ and /k/, which may (or
          may not) be due to /s/ and /t/ (at least in that particular accent) to not
          have exactly the same point of articulation, leading to some lingual
          acrobatics to pronounce /-st-/ if no assimilation or lenition happens.

          Outside of Spain I think the lenition of the syllable-final /s/ is quite
          common. All Latin Americans I can remember having spoken with did it at
          least in not-all-to-careful speech. Some would delete the /s/ entirely,
          leaving Murcian-style extra vowels (the Cuban I was in the office with for
          a while pronounced /e/ and /o/ as [E] and [O] in checked syllables, leaving
          a height difference behind whenever underlying /s/ disappeared).

          I suppose that, to fully dig out the topic, we would need some interminable
          YASPT, but I don't know if there's enough Spanish speakers on the list to
          keep that going to a length to rival our average YAEPT. :-)

          Cheers,
          David

          --
          Yésináne gika asahukúka ha'u Kusikéla-Kísu yesahuwese witi nale lálu wíke
          uhu tu tinitíhi lise tesahuwese. Lise yésináne, lina, ikéwiyéwa etinizáwa
          búwubúwu niyi tutelíhi uhu yegeka.

          http://njenfalgar.conlang.org/
        • H. S. Teoh
          ... [...] Interesting. I know an older Spanish speaker who consistently elides the _s_ in _spiritu_ (I don t know enough Spanish to be able to tell if she does
          Message 4 of 12 , Jun 20, 2013
            On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 08:46:09PM -0400, John Q wrote:
            > On Thu, 20 Jun 2013 16:22:13 -0400, MorphemeAddict <lytlesw@...> wrote:
            >
            > >Where is s spoken as h in Spanish-speaking world? What are the
            > >conditions for this sound change?
            > ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            >
            > You can definitely hear it in Cuban Spanish as well as several pockets
            > in South America. It occurs wherever /s/ is in syllable-final
            > position. So the word "estos" is pronounced [eh.toh]. Many speakers
            > take this further and pronounce it [e:to:]. if you've ever watched
            > the popular variety program "Sábado Gigante" on Saturday nights on the
            > Univision channel you'll notice the host Don Francisco has this
            > accent. The show comes from Chile, although I don't know if that's
            > where he's from originally. The popular Spanish-lamguage TV host
            > Cristina Saralegui, who hosted her own show called Cristina for many
            > years, also speaks this way. She is Cuban.
            [...]

            Interesting. I know an older Spanish speaker who consistently elides the
            _s_ in _spiritu_ (I don't know enough Spanish to be able to tell if she
            does that with other words containing _s_). Is this a dialectal
            occurrence, or just a personal speech peculiarity?


            T

            --
            Verbing weirds language. -- Calvin (& Hobbes)
          • John Q
            ... Well, the Spanish word is espíritu so the elision of the syllable-final /s/ would follow the general pattern. It would seem that the particular speaker
            Message 5 of 12 , Jun 20, 2013
              On Thu, 20 Jun 2013 18:07:47 -0700, H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...> wrote:

              >Interesting. I know an older Spanish speaker who consistently elides the
              >_s_ in _spiritu_ (I don't know enough Spanish to be able to tell if she
              >does that with other words containing _s_). Is this a dialectal
              >occurrence, or just a personal speech peculiarity?
              >
              --------------------------------------------------------------------------

              Well, the Spanish word is "espíritu" so the elision of the syllable-final /s/ would follow the general pattern. It would seem that the particular speaker you mention goes on to elide (or perhaps devoice?) the initial vowel as well, given its atonic position before a tonic antepenultimate vowel (which is a somewhat atypical stress pattern for Spanish).

              --John Q.
            • MorphemeAddict
              Thanks for all the responses. They re a big help. stevo
              Message 6 of 12 , Jun 20, 2013
                Thanks for all the responses. They're a big help.

                stevo


                On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 9:30 PM, John Q <Jquijada21@...> wrote:

                > On Thu, 20 Jun 2013 18:07:47 -0700, H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
                > wrote:
                >
                > >Interesting. I know an older Spanish speaker who consistently elides the
                > >_s_ in _spiritu_ (I don't know enough Spanish to be able to tell if she
                > >does that with other words containing _s_). Is this a dialectal
                > >occurrence, or just a personal speech peculiarity?
                > >
                > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                >
                > Well, the Spanish word is "espíritu" so the elision of the syllable-final
                > /s/ would follow the general pattern. It would seem that the particular
                > speaker you mention goes on to elide (or perhaps devoice?) the initial
                > vowel as well, given its atonic position before a tonic antepenultimate
                > vowel (which is a somewhat atypical stress pattern for Spanish).
                >
                > --John Q.
                >
              • H. S. Teoh
                ... [...] If the correct word is _espiritu_, then probably she s pronouncing it [E pi:rItu], and it s just my non-Spanish ears failing to pick up the initial
                Message 7 of 12 , Jun 20, 2013
                  On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 09:30:48PM -0400, John Q wrote:
                  > On Thu, 20 Jun 2013 18:07:47 -0700, H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > >Interesting. I know an older Spanish speaker who consistently elides
                  > >the _s_ in _spiritu_ (I don't know enough Spanish to be able to tell
                  > >if she does that with other words containing _s_). Is this a
                  > >dialectal occurrence, or just a personal speech peculiarity?
                  > >
                  > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  >
                  > Well, the Spanish word is "espíritu" so the elision of the
                  > syllable-final /s/ would follow the general pattern. It would seem
                  > that the particular speaker you mention goes on to elide (or perhaps
                  > devoice?) the initial vowel as well, given its atonic position before
                  > a tonic antepenultimate vowel (which is a somewhat atypical stress
                  > pattern for Spanish).
                  [...]

                  If the correct word is _espiritu_, then probably she's pronouncing it
                  [E"pi:rItu], and it's just my non-Spanish ears failing to pick up the
                  initial vowel or failing to analyse word boundaries correctly. After
                  all, it's notoriously hard to recognize word boundaries in a foreign
                  language, esp. one that I'm not even actively learning. :)


                  T

                  --
                  Marketing: the art of convincing people to pay for what they didn't need
                  before which you can't deliver after.
                • John Q
                  ... Yeah, and for as easy (relatively speaking) as Spanish grammar is to learn compared to most other languages, it is usually very difficult for students to
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jun 20, 2013
                    On Thu, 20 Jun 2013 20:02:47 -0700, H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >If the correct word is _espiritu_, then probably she's pronouncing it
                    >[E"pi:rItu], and it's just my non-Spanish ears failing to pick up the
                    >initial vowel or failing to analyse word boundaries correctly. After
                    >all, it's notoriously hard to recognize word boundaries in a foreign
                    >language, esp. one that I'm not even actively learning. :)
                    >
                    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                    Yeah, and for as easy (relatively speaking) as Spanish grammar is to learn compared to most other languages, it is usually very difficult for students to understand it when hearing it spoken due to the rapidity of speech which Spanish phonology allows plus the great difficulty in figuring out the word boundaries.

                    --John Q.
                  • Jyri Lehtinen
                    ... Something similar happens on the Canaries as well. The end point there seems to be a very weak [h] which I was seldom able to hear properly when staying
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jun 21, 2013
                      >
                      > According to my knowledge of Spain, it is mostly a southern thing, but it
                      > seems to be creeping northward. The conditions of the sound change are
                      > rather place-dependent, as is the final point of the sound change. In
                      > Murcia all syllable-final /s/'s are deleted, and the vowel before becomes
                      > lax, giving Murcian Spanish a ten-vowel system. In Granada syllable-final
                      > /s/ is changed into [h], sometimes becoming aspiration on the vowel before,
                      > in rapid speech becoming inaudible to my ears. I know some people in
                      > Valencia who speak Spanish natively and who only delete /s/ now and then.
                      > If I remember correctly (I haven't been there for almost a year) /s/ is
                      > more unstable in front of /t/ than in front of /p/ and /k/, which may (or
                      > may not) be due to /s/ and /t/ (at least in that particular accent) to not
                      > have exactly the same point of articulation, leading to some lingual
                      > acrobatics to pronounce /-st-/ if no assimilation or lenition happens.


                      Something similar happens on the Canaries as well. The end point there
                      seems to be a very weak [h] which I was seldom able to hear properly when
                      staying there. Don't ask me anything else about the accent there, I stayed
                      on La Palma for a while but due to international friends did quite much
                      worse learning the language than what I would have wanted. I still managed
                      to get the bad habit of saying [grasia] for gracias.

                      -Jyri
                    • Leonardo Castro
                      In Brazilian Portuguese, this also happens in uncarefully pronounced final-syllable s not immediately followed by vowel, usually in more common words (mesmo,
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jun 21, 2013
                        In Brazilian Portuguese, this also happens in uncarefully pronounced
                        final-syllable s not immediately followed by vowel, usually in more
                        common words (mesmo, nós).

                        Até mais!

                        Leonardo


                        2013/6/20 MorphemeAddict <lytlesw@...>:
                        > Where is s spoken as h in Spanish-speaking world? What are the conditions
                        > for this sound change?
                        >
                        > stevo
                      • J. 'Mach' Wust
                        ... From what I have learnt, the Latin American regions syllable-final [s] lenition or elision are not necessarily contiguous. There is a broad tendency for
                        Message 11 of 12 , Jun 21, 2013
                          On Thu, 20 Jun 2013 22:06:52 -0300, Njenfalgar wrote:

                          >Outside of Spain I think the lenition of the syllable-final /s/ is quite
                          >common. All Latin Americans I can remember having spoken with did it at
                          >least in not-all-to-careful speech. Some would delete the /s/ entirely,
                          >leaving Murcian-style extra vowels (the Cuban I was in the office with for
                          >a while pronounced /e/ and /o/ as [E] and [O] in checked syllables, leaving
                          >a height difference behind whenever underlying /s/ disappeared).

                          From what I have learnt, the Latin American regions syllable-final [s]
                          lenition or elision are not necessarily contiguous. There is a broad
                          tendency for mountain regions to keep the [s] and for coastal regions to
                          drop it, though I darkly remember that this was a contentious issue without
                          any consensus on the possible reasons (substrates, waves of immigration,
                          openness to transportation, climate). One theory is that all of Latin
                          America used to have an archaic Southern Spain Spanish, but then, a more
                          Northern and more modern Spanish spread from the colonial centers (after the
                          Spanish court had firmly established itself in Madrid), while remote areas
                          conserved the original speech with typical features such as voseo*, merger
                          of syllable-final [r] and [l], or elision of syllable-final [s].

                          * Voseo is the name for using the ancient honorific "vos". Nowadays, it is
                          best known from Argentina, which used to be a very remote area until the
                          19th century, having been colonized from Peru (and not from the sea).

                          --
                          grüess
                          mach
                        • Sapthan
                          On Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 8:53 AM, J. Mach Wust
                          Message 12 of 12 , Jun 29, 2013
                            On Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 8:53 AM, J. 'Mach' Wust <j_mach_wust@...
                            > wrote:

                            > On Thu, 20 Jun 2013 22:06:52 -0300, Njenfalgar wrote:
                            >
                            > >Outside of Spain I think the lenition of the syllable-final /s/ is quite
                            > >common. All Latin Americans I can remember having spoken with did it at
                            > >least in not-all-to-careful speech. Some would delete the /s/ entirely,
                            > >leaving Murcian-style extra vowels (the Cuban I was in the office with for
                            > >a while pronounced /e/ and /o/ as [E] and [O] in checked syllables,
                            > leaving
                            > >a height difference behind whenever underlying /s/ disappeared).
                            >
                            > From what I have learnt, the Latin American regions syllable-final [s]
                            > lenition or elision are not necessarily contiguous. There is a broad
                            > tendency for mountain regions to keep the [s] and for coastal regions to
                            > drop it, though I darkly remember that this was a contentious issue without
                            > any consensus on the possible reasons (substrates, waves of immigration,
                            > openness to transportation, climate). One theory is that all of Latin
                            > America used to have an archaic Southern Spain Spanish, but then, a more
                            > Northern and more modern Spanish spread from the colonial centers (after
                            > the
                            > Spanish court had firmly established itself in Madrid), while remote areas
                            > conserved the original speech with typical features such as voseo*, merger
                            > of syllable-final [r] and [l], or elision of syllable-final [s].
                            >
                            > * Voseo is the name for using the ancient honorific "vos". Nowadays, it is
                            > best known from Argentina, which used to be a very remote area until the
                            > 19th century, having been colonized from Peru (and not from the sea).
                            >
                            > --
                            > grüess
                            > mach
                            >

                            In my very limited experience (linguistically speaking) here in Mexico,
                            that change from s to h is considered a "costeño" (coastal) accent. I've
                            heard it from people from the states of Baja California Sur, Guerrero, and
                            Veracruz, mainly. Also, I think in Venezuela they have it in some regions.

                            Ayam.

                            --
                            Nac Mac Feegle! Wee Free Men!
                            Nae King! Nae Quin! Nae Laird! Nae Master!
                            We Willna Be Fooled Again!
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