Puerto Rican Spanish - Functional Use for /s/ Deletion

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Puerto Rican Spanish: A Phonetics Phenomenon In the study of linguistics, there are several different approaches and methods to language. Since the beginning of the semester, our class has been studying all different concepts within language itself. Among those many concepts is the concept of phonetics - or the study of individual sounds within a language. Understanding different phonetic phenomena within our own language is also something that could catch the eye of many -- whether they are a proclaimed linguist or not. Growing up in a Hispanic household where Caribbean Spanish was the main dialect, brings about many thoughts on the different ways words are spoken and vocal inflections are portrayed. A study by Judith G. Hochberg in 1986 helps in the understanding of at least one phenomena with the Caribbean dialect of the Spanish language. An article in Hochberg’s Language directly discusses Puerto Rican Spanish, or PRS. The study was based on, “The Functional Compensation for /s/ Deletion in Puerto Rican Spanish.” The article describes that many or all who speak PRS leave out, or delete, the final /s/ in words in which they are generally required. The final /s/ is variably aspirated and deleted among all social classes. For example, in Andalusian Spanish, the aspiration of /s/ is claimed to correlate with a variety of phonetic effects. The final/s/ does one or both of the following: Opens or lengthens the preceding vowel, or Lengthens or devoices the following consonant. With those two concepts in mind, the words libro/libros (meaning book/books) would have the final /s/ completely sounded out and aspirated in Andalusian Spanish. For those speaking PRS, the plural form would still be pronounced like the singular, libro. Along with the dialect from Puerto Rico are several other Latin American countries that practice the deletion of the final

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