Covariants of Gemination in Eastern Andalusian Spanish: /t/ following Underlying /s/, /k/, /p/ and /ks/
In Eastern Andalusian Spanish, consonants are deleted in syllable-final position, triggering regular gemination of a following consonant, even across word boundaries. This paper investigates five underlying phonemic contexts involving /t/, including singleton /t/ and four different underlying /C+t/ sequences that typically surface as [t:], by analyzing how durational and formant differences vary depending on the presence and identity of the preceding underlying consonant. Following the acoustic and statistical analyses of 444 instances of /ˈeta/, /ˈesta/, /ˈekta/, /ˈepta/ and /ˈeksta/, a Discriminant Function Analysis shows that differences in the total duration of /t/ and in the duration of the closure of /t/ are the strongest cues to distinguishing singletons from geminated consonants, with 91.9% and 90.6% accurate classifications, respectively. Cues indicating which specific consonants have been deleted before /t/ are much less robust and more varied in nature. It is unclear, however, whether this outcome is due to different compensation strategies in each case or whether they are affected by some kind of underlying coarticulatory effect. Given that gemination in this language variety is the result of regular /C1C2/ to [Cː] assimilation, and that its underlying phonemic status has not been demonstrated, Eastern Andalusian Spanish is unusual amongst languages studied with respect to gemination, making this study typologically interesting.
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