Abigail Chi Baack (SIP, Penn State)
December 1, 2023
9:00 am

Abigail Chi Baack (SIP, Penn State)

"Voiceless Stop Aspiration in Yucatec Spanish"

Abigail Chi Baack

Friday, December 1
9:00–10:30 a.m. EST

Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library

In this presentation, Abigail Chi Baack explores voiceless stop aspiration in Yucatec Spanish, in which such a fortition process is most likely contact-induced. The study draws on data from three Mayan communities in the Yucatan Peninsula, including speakers with different degrees of bilingualism. This variety of Spanish is reported to exhibit distinct phonological phenomena influenced by contact with Yucatec Maya, including voiceless stop aspiration, vowel lengthening, and fortition of voiced stops (Michnowicz, 2006, 2009, Michnowicz & Carpenter, 2013). Here, Voice Onset Time (VOT) was used as the acoustic measure to look at burst duration in voiceless stops /p, t, k/. Tokens were extracted from recordings of sociolinguistic interviews conducted in the summer of 2021. The study employs a variationist linguistic approach, considering both linguistic and social constraints on variation in spontaneous speech. Preliminary results indicate community-specific VOT durations, shedding light on the nuanced phonological dynamics shaped by linguistic contact.