A sociophonetic approach to /s/ - realization in the colombian spanish of Barranquilla

Richard File-Muriel, Earl Brown, Michael Gradoville

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


This study models the effects of individual physiology and gender on s-realization in the Spanish of 16 speakers (equally divided by gender) who were born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia. Although our results support the oft-reported gender effect (i.e. females tend to produce more canonical s-realizations overall), we provide strong evidence that individual physiological differences also significantly condition s-realization and likely are conflated with the results reported for gender. For example, individuals with smaller proxy measures for vocal fold size exhibit higher levels of voicelessness and speakers with shorter vocal tract proxy measures produce higher centroid measures, independently of the gender social construct. What has been regarded as purely socially learned, linguistic behavior may also be partially explained by simple physiological differences between females and males, and therefore, accounting for physiological variables allows us to better understand the relationship between gender and sex, as well as how both influence linguistic behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSociolinguistic Approaches to Sibilant Variation in Spanish
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781000365627
ISBN (Print)9780367722203
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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