This paper examines seven acoustic properties of /s/ in Chilean Spanish (CS) and Salvadoran Spanish (ES). Acoustic measurements from 36 speakers, balanced for gender and dialect, reveal several cross-dialectal differences: CS /s/ was significantly longer than ES /s/ in coda position and had a higher spectral center of gravity. Two findings were mitigated by gender: women in both dialects were more likely to voice /s/, but the magnitude of the difference in voicing between male and female speakers was greater in CS. There were no differences in relative intensity in CS, while in ES, /s/ used by males has significantly lower relative intensity than /s/ used by females. No dialect differences were found for variance, kurtosis, or skewness. While both CS and ES are frequently collocated under the umbrella of “/s/ weakening dialects,” our results show that tokens of non-deleted /s/ are acoustically distinct. These findings suggest that shorter duration and lower spectral energy in ES could be the result of a looser or backer constriction of /s/ and may have implications for work examining cross-dialectal differences in /s/ lenition at the phonetics/phonology interface.

1.
Bates
,
D.
,
Maechler
,
M.
,
Bolker
,
B.
, and
Walker
,
S.
(
2015
). “
Fitting linear mixed-effects models using lme4
,”
J. Stat. Softw.
67
,
1
48
.
2.
Baum
,
S. R.
, and
Blumstein
,
S. E.
(
1987
). “
Preliminary observations on the use of duration as a cue to syllable-initial fricative consonant voicing in English
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
82
,
1073
1077
.
3.
Behrens
,
S.
, and
Blumstein
,
S. E.
(
1988
). “
On the role of the amplitude of the fricative noise in the perception of place of articulation in voiceless fricative consonants
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
84
,
861
867
.
4.
Boersma
,
P.
, and
Weenink
,
D.
(
2020
). “
Praat: Doing phonetics by computer (version 6.1.09) [computer program]
,” http://www.praat.org/ (Last viewed 10 December 2020).
5.
Brogan
,
F. D.
(
2018
). “
Sociophonetically-based phonology: An optimality-theoretic account of /s/ lenition in Salvadoran Spanish
,” Ph.D. dissertation,
UCLA
,
Los Angeles, CA
.
6.
Brogan
,
F. D.
, and
Bolyanatz
,
M. A.
(
2018
). “
A sociophonetic account of onset /s/ weakening in Salvadoran Spanish: Instrumental and segmental analyses
,”
Lang. Var. Change
30
,
203
230
.
7.
Brogan
,
F. D.
(
2018
). “
Sociophonetically-based phonology: An Optimality Theoretic account of /s/ lenition in Salvadoran Spanish
,” Doctoral dissertation. UCLA.
8.
Brown
,
E. K.
(
2014
). “
Praat script to measure duration, center of gravity, and voicelessness of /s/ in Rich's Barranquilla corpus
,” http://www-personal.k-state.edu/∼ekbrown/scripts/Script_Praat_dur_cog_voic_S.txt (Last viewed 10 August 2021).
9.
Brown
,
E. L.
,
Raymond
,
W. D.
,
Brown
,
E. K.
, and
File-Muriel
,
R. J.
(
2021
). “
Lexically specific accumulation in memory of word and segment speech rates
,” https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/cllt-2020-0016/html (Last viewed 12 August 2021).
10.
Campos-Astorkiza
,
R.
(
2017
). “
Voicing assimilation and weakening of /s/ in iberian spanish: Connecting both phenomena in a gestural model
,” in
Current Trends in Experimental Phonetics
, edited by
V.
Marrero Aguiar
and
E.
Estebas Vilaplana
(
UNED/CSIC
,
Madrid, Spain
), pp.
42
47
.
11.
Cepeda
,
G.
(
1990
). “
La alofonía de /s/ en Valdivia(Chile)
,” [“The allophony of /s/ in Valdivia (Chile)”],
Estud. Filológicos
25
,
5
16
.
12.
Cerda-Oñate
,
K.
,
Fuentes
,
D.
,
Soto-Barba
,
J.
, and
Hamdan Rosales
,
N.
(
2015
). “
Variación diatópica, discursiva y fonética de /s/ codal en el habla de profesionales chilenos
,” (“Diatopic, discursive, and phonetic variation of coda /s/ in the speech of Chilean professionals”),
Onomázein Rev. Lingüíst. Filol. Trad.
32
,
254
274
.
13.
Chappell
,
W.
, and
García
,
C.
(
2017
). “
Variable production and indexical social meaning: On the potential physiological origin of intervocalic /s/ voicing in Costa Rican Spanish
,”
Stud. Hisp. Lusoph. Linguist.
10
,
1
37
.
14.
Cho
,
T.
, and
Keating
,
P. A.
(
2001
). “
Articulatory and acoustic studies on domain-initial strengthening in Korean
,”
J. Phon.
29
,
155
190
.
15.
Colantoni
,
L.
, and
Kochetov
,
A.
(
2011
). “
An articulatory study of sibilant fricatives in two Spanish varieties
,” in
Selected Proceedings of the 5th Conference on Laboratory Approaches to Romance Phonology
, edited by
S. M.
Alvord
(
Cascadilla Proceedings Project
,
Somerville, MA
), pp.
84
97
.
16.
Crystal
,
T. H.
, and
House
,
A. S.
(
1988
). “
Segmental durations in connected-speech signals: Syllabic stress
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
83
,
1574
1585
.
17.
Deller
,
J. R.
, Jr.
,
Proakis
,
J. G.
, and
Hansen
,
J. H. L.
(
1993
).
Discrete-Time Processing of Speech Signals
(
Macmillan
,
Englewood Cliffs, NJ
).
18.
DiCanio
,
C.
(
2013
). “
Spectral moments of fricative spectra script in Praat
,” https://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/∼cdicanio/scripts.html (Last viewed 1 November 2020).
19.
Erker
,
D. G.
(
2010
). “
A subsegmental approach to coda /s/ weakening in Dominican Spanish
,” https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/ijsl.2010.019/html (Last viewed 15 May 2021).
20.
Erker
,
D. G.
(
2012
). “
An acoustically based sociolinguistic analysis of variable coda /s/ production in the Spanish of New York City
,” Ph.D. dissertation,
New York University
,
New York
.
21.
File-Muriel
,
R.
, and
Brown
,
E.
(
2011
). “
The gradient nature of s-lenition in Caleño Spanish
,”
Lang. Var. Change
23
,
223
243
.
22.
File-Muriel
,
R.
,
Brown
,
E. K.
, and
Gradoville
,
M.
(
2021
). “
Disentangling the physiological from the socially-learned in gradient, sociophonetic processes: Evidence from s-realization in Barranquilla, Colombia
,” Hispanic Ling. (published online).
23.
File-Muriel
,
R.
,
Brown
,
E.
, and
Gradoville
,
M.
(
2021
). “
A sociophonetic approach to /s/-realization in the Colombian Spanish of Barranquilla
,” in
Sociolinguistic Approaches to Sibilant Variation in Spanish
, edited by
E.
Núñez-Méndez
(
Routledge
,
Abingdon-on-Thames, UK
), pp.
246
260
.
24.
Forrest
,
K.
,
Weismer
,
G.
,
Milenkovic
,
P.
, and
Dougall
,
R. N.
(
1988
). “
Statistical analysis of word‐initial voiceless obstruents: Preliminary data
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
84
,
115
123
.
25.
Fougeron
,
C.
(
1999
). “
Prosodically conditioned articulatory variation: A review
,” in
UCLA Work. Papers Phon.
97
,
1
74
.
26.
García
,
C.
(
2015
). “
Production and perception of Highland Ecuadorian Spanish
,” Ph.D. dissertation,
The Ohio State University
,
Colombus, OH
.
27.
Ghaffarvand Mokari
,
P.
, and
Mahdinezhad Sardhaei
,
N.
(
2020
). “
Predictive power of cepstral coefficients and spectral moments in the classification of Azerbaijani fricatives
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
147
,
EL228
EL234
.
28.
Gordon
,
M.
,
Barthmaier
,
P.
, and
Sands
,
K.
(
2002
). “
A cross-linguistic acoustic study of voiceless fricatives
,”
J. Int. Phon. Assoc.
32
,
141
174
.
29.
Gradoville
,
M.
(
2011
). “
Validity in measurements of fricative voicing: Evidence from Argentine Spanish
,” in
Selected Proceedings of the 5th Conference on Laboratory Approaches to Romance Phonology
, edited by
S. M.
Alvord
(
Cascadilla Proceedings Project
,
Somerville, MA
), pp.
59
74
.
30.
Hallé
,
P.
, and
Adda-Decker
,
M.
(
2007
). “
Voicing assimilation in journalistic speech
,”
Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS)
, August 6–10, Saarbrücken, Germany.
31.
Henriksen
,
N.
, and
Harper
,
S. K.
(
2016
). “
Investigating lenition patterns in south-central Peninsular Spanish /sp st sk/ clusters
,”
J. Int. Phon. Assoc.
46
,
287
310
.
32.
Hualde
,
J. I.
, and
Prieto
,
P.
(
2014
). “
Lenition of intervocalic alveolar fricatives in Catalan and Spanish
,”
Phonetica
71
,
109
127
.
33.
Jannedy
,
S.
, and
Weirich
,
M.
(
2017
). “
Spectral moments vs discrete cosine transformation coefficients: Evaluation of acoustic measures distinguishing two merging German fricatives
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
142
,
395
405
.
34.
Jesus
,
L. M. T.
, and
Jackson
,
P. J.
(
2008
). “
Frication and voicing classification
,”
Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Computional Processing of the Portuguese Language (PROPOR)
, September 8–10, Aveiro, Portugual, pp.
11
20
.
35.
Johnson
,
K.
(
2011
).
Acoustic and Auditory Phonetics
, 3rd ed. (
Wiley-Blackwell
,
Malden, MA
).
36.
Jongman
,
A.
(
1989
). “
Duration of frication noise required for identification of English fricatives
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
85
,
1718
1725
.
37.
Jongman
,
A.
,
Wayland
,
R.
, and
Wong
,
S.
(
2000
). “
Acoustic characteristics of English fricatives
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
108
,
1252
1263
.
38.
Kaisse
,
E.
(
1999
). “
Resyllabification precedes all segmental rules: Evidence from Argentinean Spanish
,” in
Formal Perspectives on Romance Linguistics
, edited by
M.
Authier
,
B. E.
Bullock
, and
L.
Reed
(
John Benjamins
,
Amsterdam
), pp.
197
210
.
39.
Kim
,
Y.
(
2017
). “
Acoustic characteristics of fricatives /s/ and /∫/ produced by speakers with Parkinson's disease
,”
Clin. Arch. Commun. Disord.
2
,
7
14
.
40.
Kirchner
,
R.
(
2004
). “
Consonant lenition
,” in
Phonetically Based Phonology
(
Cambridge University Press
,
Cambridge, UK
), pp.
313
345
.
41.
Koenig
,
L. L.
,
Shadle
,
C. H.
,
Preston
,
J. L.
, and
Mooshammer
,
C. R.
(
2013
). “
Toward improved spectral measures of /s/: Results from adolescents
,”
J. Speech Lang. Hear. Res.
56
,
1175
1189
.
42.
Kong
,
Y.-Y.
,
Mullangi
,
A.
, and
Kokkinakis
,
K.
(
2014
). “
Classification of fricative consonants for speech enhancement in hearing devices
,”
PLoS One
9
,
e95001
.
43.
Ladefoged
,
P.
, and
Maddieson
,
I.
(
1996
).
The Sounds of the World's Languages
(
Blackwell
,
Oxford, UK
).
44.
Lavoie
,
L. M.
(
2001
).
Consonant Strength: Phonological Patterns and Phonetic Manifestations
(
Garland Publishing
,
New York
).
45.
Le Grézause
,
E.
(
2016
). “
Modified version of “collect_formant_data_from_files.praat
,” https://depts.washington.edu/phonlab/resources/f0-F1-F2-intensity_praat_script.praat (Last viewed 15 August 2021).
46.
Liker
,
M.
, and
Gibbon
,
F. E.
(
2013
). “
Differences in EPG contact dynamics between voiced and voiceless lingual fricatives
,”
J. Int. Phon. Assoc.
43
,
49
64
.
47.
Lipski
,
J.
(
1986
). “
Reduction of Spanish word-final /s/ and /n/
,”
Can. J. Linguist.
31
,
139
156
.
48.
Maniwa
,
K.
,
Jongman
,
A.
, and
Wade
,
T.
(
2009
). “
Acoustic characteristics of clearly spoken English fricatives
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
125
,
3962
3973
.
49.
Manrique
,
A. M.
, and
Massone
,
M. I.
(
1981
). “
Acoustic analysis and perception of Spanish fricative consonants
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
69
,
1145
1153
.
50.
McGowan
,
R. S.
, and
Nittrouer
,
S.
(
1988
). “
Differences in fricative production between children and adults: Evidence from an acoustic analysis of /sh/ and /s/
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
83
,
229
236
.
51.
McRae
,
P.
,
Tjaden
,
K.
, and
Schoonings
,
B.
(
2002
). “
Acoustic and perceptual consequences of articulatory rate change in Parkinson disease
,”
J. Speech Lang. Hear. Res.
45
,
35
50
.
52.
Minnick Fox
,
M. A. M.
(
2006
). “
Usage-based effects in Latin American Spanish syllable-final /s/ lenition
,” Ph.D. dissertation,
University of Pennsylvania
,
Philadelphia
.
53.
Nakagawa
,
S.
, and
Schielzeth
,
H.
(
2013
). “
A general and simple method for obtaining R2 from generalized linear mixed-effects models
,”
Methods Ecol. Evol.
4
,
133
142
.
54.
Nirgianaki
,
E.
(
2014
). “
Acoustic characteristics of Greek fricatives
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
135
,
2964
2976
.
55.
Nittrouer
,
S.
(
1992
). “
Age-related differences in perceptual effects of formant transitions within syllables and across syllable boundaries
,”
J. Phon.
20
,
351
382
.
56.
Nittrouer
,
S.
,
Studdert-Kennedy
,
M.
, and
McGowan
,
R.
(
1989
). “
The emergence of phonetic segments
,”
J. Speech Lang. Hear. Res.
32
,
120
132
.
57.
Recasens
,
D.
, and
Rodríguez
,
C.
(
2017
). “
Lingual articulation and coarticulation for Catalan consonants and vowels: An ultrasound study
,”
Phonetica
74
,
125
156
.
58.
Redford
,
M. A.
, and
Diehl
,
R. L.
(
1999
). “
The relative perceptual distinctiveness of initial and final consonants in CVC syllables
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
106
,
1555
1565
.
59.
Regan
,
B.
(
2017
). “
The effect of dialect contact and social identity on demerger
,” Ph.D. dissertation,
University of Texas
,
Austin, TX
.
60.
Rigby
,
R. A.
, and
Stasinopoulos
,
D. M.
(
2005
). “
Generalized additive models for location, scale, and shape (with discussion)
,”
Appl. Statist.
54
(
3
),
507
554
.
61.
Rogers
,
B. M. A.
(
2020
). “
The state of Spanish /s/ variation in Concepción, Chile: Linguistic and social trends
,”
Open Linguist.
6
,
132
153
.
62.
RStudio Team
(
2015
).
RStudio: Integrated Development for R
(
RStudio, Inc
.,
Boston, MA
).
63.
Sedó
,
B.
,
Schmidt
,
L. B.
, and
Willis
,
E. W.
(
2020
). “
Rethinking the phonological process of /s/ voicing assimilation in Spanish: An acoustic comparison of three regional varieties
,”
Stud. Hisp. Lusoph. Linguist.
13
,
167
217
.
64.
Shadle
,
C. H.
(
1985
). “
The acoustics of fricative consonants
,” Ph.D. dissertation,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
,
Cambridge, MA
.
65.
Shadle
,
C. H.
(
2012
). “
Acoustics and aerodynamics of fricatives
,” in
The Oxford Handbook of Laboratory Phonology
,
A.
Cohn
,
C.
Fougeron
, and
M.
Huffman
(
Oxford University
,
New York
), pp.
511
526
.
66.
Shadle
,
C. H.
, and
Mair
,
S. J.
(
1996
). “
Quantifying spectral characteristics of fricatives
,”
Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP-1996)
, October 3–6, Philadelphia, PA.
67.
Spinu
,
L.
,
Kochetov
,
A.
, and
Lilley
,
J.
(
2018
). “
Acoustic classification of Russian plain and palatalized sibilant fricatives: Spectral vs. cepstral measures
,”
Speech Commun.
100
,
41
45
.
68.
Spinu
,
L.
, and
Lilley
,
J.
(
2016
). “
A comparison of cepstral coefficients and spectral moments in the classification of Romanian fricatives
,”
J. Phon.
57
,
40
58
.
69.
Stevens
,
K. N.
(
1971
). “
Airflow and turbulence noise for fricative and stop consonants: Static considerations
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
50
,
1180
1192
.
70.
Stevens
,
K. N.
(
1981
). “
Evidence for the role of acoustic boundaries in the perception of speech sounds
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
69
,
S116
.
71.
Stevens
,
K. N.
(
1998
).
Acoustic Phonetics
(
MIT
,
Cambridge, MA
).
72.
Strevens
,
P.
(
1960
). “
Spectra of fricative noise in human speech
,”
Lang. Speech
3
,
32
49
.
73.
Strycharczuk
,
P.
, and
Kohlberger
,
M.
(
2016
). “
Resyllabification reconsidered: On the durational properties of word-final /s/ in Spanish
,”
Lab. Phonol. J. Assoc. Lab. Phonol.
7
,
1
24
.
74.
Strycharczuk
,
P.
,
Van'T Veer
,
M.
,
Bruil
,
M.
, and
Linke
,
K.
(
2013
). “
Phonetic evidence on phonology-morphosyntax interactions: Sibilant voicing in Quito Spanish
,”
J. Linguist.
28
,
357
378
.
75.
Tabain
,
M.
(
2000
). “
An EPG and acoustic study of fricative production and spectra
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
107
,
2854
2855
.
76.
Thomson
,
B.
(
2010
).
Chalk
(
Amazon Children's Publishing
,
Seattle, WA
).
77.
Tomiak
,
G. R.
(
1990
). “
An evaluation of a spectral moments metric with voiceless fricative obstruents
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
87
,
S106
.
78.
Torreira
,
F.
, and
Ernestus
,
M.
(
2012
). “
Weakening of intervocalic /s/ in the Nijmegen Corpus of Casual Spanish
,”
Phonetica
69
,
124
148
.
79.
Vasilescu
,
I.
,
Hernandez
,
N.
,
Vieru
,
B.
, and
Lamel
,
L.
(
2018
). “
Exploring temporal reduction in dialectal Spanish: A large-scale study of lenition of voiced stops and coda-s
,” in
Interspeech 2018
, September 2–6, Hyderabad, India, pp.
2728
2732
.
80.
Widdison
,
K. A.
(
1995
). “
An acoustic and perceptual study of the Spanish sound change s>h
,”
Riv. Linguist.
7
,
175
190
.
81.
Willis
,
E.
(
2007
). “
An acoustic study of the ‘pre-aspirated trill’ in narrative Cibaeño Domincan Spanish
,”
J. Int. Phon. Assoc.
37
,
33
49
.
82.
Yeni-Komshian
,
G. H.
, and
Soli
,
S. D.
(
1981
). “
Recognition of vowels from information in fricatives: Perceptual evidence of fricative-vowel coarticulation
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
70
,
966
975
.
You do not currently have access to this content.