‘ES QUE HABLAN CANTADITOS’–SELF-REPORTED IDENTIFICATION STRATEGIES BY PUERTO RICAN AND DOMINICAN SPANISH SPEAKERS
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Keywords

sociolinguistics
dialectal contact
Dominican Spanish
Puerto Rican Spanish

Abstract

Small phonetic/phonological cues have been found to be highly salient markers in speaker identification, especially among members of different socioeconomic and ethnic groups (e.g., Fridland and Bartlett 2006; McKenzie 2008; Niedzielski 1999; Preston 1999). The present study adds to this discussion by examining identification cues reportedly used by speakers of Dominican and Puerto Rican Spanish. In particular, realizations of syllable final /r/ and /l/ are reported as highly salient in speaker identification. Whereas lexical differences are also mentioned as crucial, there is little evidence for the saliency of morphological cues (e.g., Dominican double negation or the use of the expletive ello ‘it’ (López Morales 1992)). Although not specifically elicited in the questionnaire, a number of participants referenced differences in social behaviors and work ethics as useful in the identification process. This suggests that for Puerto Ricans Dominican Spanish have become synonymous for speakers of lower educational and socioeconomic attainment.
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