Abstract: Susana Pérez Castillejo

The interdentalization of syllable-final /k/ from a usage-based perspective
University of St. Thomas, MN

Word-final /-d/ and syllable-final /-k/ can be pronounced as interdental voiceless fricative [θ] in North Central Peninsular Spanish (NCPS). For example, the word ‘ciudad’ is frequently pronounced as [θju’ðaθ] and ‘dictado’ may appear as [diθ’taðo]. The factors influencing interdentalization in each case are usually examined separately in the literature. Assuming a usage-based approach to phonetic variation, this study proposes that coda /-k/ and /-d/ interdentalization in NCPS are connected phenomena based on segmental similarity. To explore this claim, data were collected from 16 speakers who completed a reading task with 37 tokens of both segments combined. Their productions were acoustically analyzed, and the patterns of variation variation were examined through multiple regression and mixed-effects binary logistic regression. Results showed that /-k/ is realized as [θ] more by speakers who have developed a generalized pattern of /-d/ interdentalization, evidenced by their frequent use of /-d/ as [θ] in contexts where this allophone cannot be explained exclusively on articulatorily grounds (before vowel and before voiced consonant). It was also observed that /-d/ interdentalization patterns still contribute to explain variant choice for /-k/ when other linguistic (stress, preceding vowel and word frequency) and extralinguistic factors (age, gender and neighborhood) were considered.