Caribbean Spanish

Not to be confused with Spanish Caribbean.
Extent the Caribbean Spanish.

Caribbean Spanish (Spanish: español caribeño) is the general name of the Spanish dialects spoken in the Caribbean region. It closely resembles the Spanish spoken in the Canary Islands and western Andalusia.

More precisely, the term refers to the Spanish language as spoken in the Caribbean islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic as well as in Panama, Venezuela, and the Caribbean coast of Colombia.


Frequently, word-final /s/ and /d/ are dropped (as in compás [kõ̞mˈpaʰ] 'beat', mitad [miˈt̪a] 'half'). Syllable-final /s/ (as well as /f/ in any context) may also be debuccalized to [h] (transcribed as [ʰ] if it may be elided): los amigos [lo̞h‿aˈmiɰo̞ʰ] ('the friends'), dos [ˈd̪o̞ʰ] ('two').[1]

Similarly, syllable-final nasals and /ɾ/ (or [l]) in the infinitival morpheme may also be dropped (ven [ˈbẽ̞ⁿ] 'come', comer [ko̞ˈme̞ˡ] 'to eat');[2] the dropping of final nasals does not result in further neutralization compared to other dialects since the nasalization of the vowel is maintained.

Several neutralizations also occur in the syllable coda. The liquids /l/ and /ɾ/ may neutralize to [j] (Cibaeño Dominican celda/cerda [ˈse̞jð̞a] 'cell'/'bristle'), [l] (alma/arma [ˈalma] 'soul'/'weapon', comer [ko̞ˈme̞ˡ] 'to eat'), or as complete regressive assimilation (pulga/purga [ˈpuɡːa] 'flea'/'purge').[2]

The deletions and neutralizations show variability in their occurrence, even with the same speaker in the same utterance, which implies that nondeleted forms exist in the underlying structure.[3] That is not to say that these dialects are on the path to eliminating coda consonants since such processes have existed for more than four centuries in these dialects.[4] Guitart (1997) argues that it is the result of speakers acquiring multiple phonological systems with uneven control, like that of second language learners.

There are other features:

See also



Further reading

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