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Subject: Central Mexican Phonology
Question: Hello! I have a question concerning the Mexican dialect of Spanish. I'm trying to figure out what to call a particular sound I'm hearing. I'm not sure how to represent this, but it sounds like an r going to a soft th or sh, like rth or rsh. It seems to only occur at the end of words and before a pause. From what I've been able to figure out, it seems like it might be an assibilated r, but I'm just not sure. Does anyone know what this particular sound might be? Thank you!
Reply: If I understood your description correctly, this seems to me to be an instance of devoicing. I hear the same in dialects of European Portuguese, for alveolar taps in the same contexts as you mention. I think I remember that I heard this Portuguese pronunciation first among newsreaders, who then set the trend for other speakers. Sibilation, as you suggest, is also a good description of what is going on. I hear it too, it may have developed as a consequence of devoicing of an articulation which involves approximation of articulators. Madalena
Reply From: Madalena Cruz-Ferreira      click here to access email
Date: 05-Dec-2012

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