Talk:Spanish phonology

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b/v as a voiced labiodental fricative (ie English v)[edit]

Perhaps we should include the fact that some native speakers, perhaps in an attempt to be "educated", pronounce both the b and the v in Spanish as a voiced labiodental fricative (English v). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:04, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

If we can find a reliable source that says so, I don't see why not. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 05:05, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

It all depends on the dialect you're speaking about and mostly if the speaker had learned another mother language at the same time which does distinguish between the two sounds. But for standard spanish there is no distinction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:50, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Trapezium vowel diagram[edit]

Hi, can someone add a trapezium to the vowel diagram, please? Thanks. --Kjoonlee 02:12, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Hmm, that's a toughie. The Journal of the International Phonetic Alphabet has a chart with formant values, but it's not the typical trapezium and I'm not sure how to convert it. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 04:12, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
If you post the table, I'll see what I can do. Maybe the table will work just as well, with some work. --Kjoonlee 06:21, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Spanish vowels.png
Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 02:00, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Peter Ladefoged has tiny vowel trapeziums for Spanish, Japanese, and Danish in his 1975 work A course in phonetics. If anyone has that work and would like to scan it, we may be in business here. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 05:40, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Diphthongs from Hiatus[edit]

Bowen & Stockwell (1955) say (p 237) "In normal transition, two unstressed vowels are [v̆v]" with the first being shorter than the second and gives the following examples.

[ĕa] /beatiˈtud/ beatitud ('beatitude')
[ăe] /maesˈtrita/ maestrita ('little teacher')
[ĕo] /leoˈnes/ leonés ('Leonese')
[ŏe] /poeˈtisa/ poetisa ('poetess')
[ăo] /aoˈrita/ ahorita ('right away')
[ŏa] /toaˈʝita/ toallita ('little towel')

Does that mean that Martínez-Celdrán et al (2003) are incorrect in transcribing maestro as [mae̯stɾo]? Bowen & Stockwell also seem to transcribe /iw/ and /uj/ where Martínez-Celdrán et al as well as Sparkman (1943) and Harris (1969) have transcribed or implied /ju/ and /wi/ respectively. Sparkman also cites Navarro Tomás (p 64) in pointing that ui is [uj] northern Spain (meaning it is [wi] elsewhere).

I'm not really sure what sort of generalization to make/accept in regards to the process of Spanish diphthongization. Any Thoughts? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 09:24, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

If the work by Martínez-Celdrán you are referring to is Castilian Spanish, in this article the authors explicitly state that they are studying formal pronunciation of Spanish. Other authors might rather be speaking of everyday speech. In some parts of the Spanish-speaking world differences between formal and informal pronunciation can get strikingly large. --Jotamar (talk) 22:13, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
True, but I'm wondering if Martínez-Celdrán et al might be incorrect in their transcription of maestro, not that they're describing a hyperformal variety. It seems fishy to me. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 00:22, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure about the diphthongs from hiatus, but /uj/ or /ui̯/ is definitely a diphthong in Spanish as in the word "muy" ('very') /mui̯/ which I have never heard pronounced with a rising diphthong /mwi/. –Jmolina116 (talk) 22:00, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
In my understanding of the Spanish dialects covered, muy is the only word where ui/uy represents /uj/. Otherwise (fuimos, cuidado, etc) it is /wi/. This could be something that varies or varied in different Spanish dialects. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 19:14, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Onslaught of unconstructive edits[edit]

It has occurred to me that the recent series of reversions and counterreversions might seem like an edit war between two uncompromising editors. If it were simply an issue of sources, I would be willing to mark certain statements with {{fact}}. However, the anon editor has shown on this page and others to be deliberately dishonest in attributing sources. Here are some examples:

  • at voiced labiodental fricative, they attempted to add Spanish as an example by citing Martínez-Celdrán et al (2003). However, this source does not mention [v] as an allophone of /f/
  • at voiced velar fricative, they added Spanish, again citing Martínez-Celdrán et al though the source specifically states that they're approximants.
  • Here at Spanish phonology, they again falsely attributed Martínez-Celdrán et al to /f/ -> [v]
  • Also here, in this string of edits, they
    • falsely attributed Martínez-Celdrán et al to a claim about dialectal variation,
    • changed the Andalusian allophone of /as/ from [æ̞] to [ɑ] (despite what the source says).

This false attribution is enough for me to do blind reverts and to not trust any anon editor who behaves like the series of IP addresses who have been adding and re-adding these and other edits. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 19:09, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

There are so many mistakes on this article[edit]

Since when this is necessary to know:

| opaco || /oˈpako/ || 'opaque' || opacidad || /opaθiˈdad/ || 'opacity' |-

| sueco || /ˈsweko/ || 'Swedish' || suecia || /ˈsweθja/ || 'Sweden' |-

| belga || /ˈbelga/ || 'Belgium' || bélgico || /ˈbelxiko/ || 'Belgian' |-

| análogo || /aˈnalogo/ || 'analogous' || analogía || /analoˈxia/ || 'analogy' |}

Even, that Spanish is wrong; belga is Belgian and Bélgica is Belgium.

I see very uncompleted this article. Spanish has got a lot of allophones, which should be included in parenthese on the Spanish sounds chart. They are real sounds, although they are not distinguishable, they are articulated by the Spanish speakers. It is unfair how other languages as German, French, etc. specify loan sounds from other languages on their phonology articles, and you see such a poor information about the Spanish language. (talk) 17:21, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes, you're right. I made an error in this table. I'm sorry if you feel the table is not "necessary." I don't see it as any more unnecessary than other parts of the article.
Because there are so many allophones (most of which require diacritics), the table might get too cluttered with such sounds. Is there perhaps a way of distinguishing major vs minor allophones so that we might include such a handful? Otherwise, IMHO the article's prose does a pretty decent job of covering allophones.
Also, I'm not familiar with Spanish loanword phonology. If the German and French phonology articles have info on that it's probably because editors have found published articles that say something about it. If we find anything, we can certainly include it. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 19:03, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Suggestions for improving the article[edit]

I suggest to modify the Spanish consonant table.

  • /θ/ (Spain except the Canary Islands, and some Andalusian dialects) - /s/ (the rest of the speakers).
  • Merging /ʝ/(-/j/-/ʒ/) and /ʎ/ into one phoneme (yeísmo). Metropolitan areas in Spain /ʝ/~[ɟʝ], Argentina and Uruguay /ʒ/ (or /ʃ/)~[dʒ], the rest of the countries alternate between /ʝ/~[ɟʝ] and /j/~[dʒ].

As it is now, the article looks a bit disorganised. If this article is about an in-depth explanation about the Spanish phonology, it should include all/or most allophones. JAuMeh** (talk) 16:50, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

I do see the benefit to indicating that /θ/ and /ʎ/ are dialectal but, as I've said before, we don't need to indicate all allophones on the table and I happen to think it's better that we stick it to phonemes. Trying to put as many allophones on the table and pidgeonholing descriptions of their distribution to superscript notes may work for Dutch, but not for Spanish. The table shouldn't be exhaustive and information shouldn't be given in table-only format.
Otherwise, most everything you mention is in the article is already present; the only things I spot that you mention aren't already in the article is the appearance of of [ʃ], which I haven't yet found any sourcing for.
How is it too disorganized? How do you recommend we reorganize it? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 18:57, 16 July 2008 (UTC)


Per this article, the voiced stops in club de fútbol are all frics. Are they really? Also, I would expect some assimilation in fútbol, with the tb maybe [db]. kwami (talk) 10:02, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

It's really difficult to predict how a Spanish speaker will utter that sentence, as it includes 2 foreign consonants, the 'b' in club and the 't' in fútbol; in practice I think you would get a very wide array of different pronunciations. --Jotamar (talk) 23:23, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
I'd transcribe club de fútbol [kluβ̞ ð̞e̞ ˈfut̪β̞o̞l], though my transcription is pretty standard-centric. It's kind of strange that these sounds are really more often approximants but are transcribed phonemically as voiced stops. Perhaps it's typographical constraints that keep us from seeing them as prototypically approximants that are "fortified" (rather than being stops that are lenited) in certain positions. I've never heard of Spanish assimilating voicing for stops across syllable boundaries, but I wouldn't be too surprised. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 01:58, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
The /b/ wouldn't be fortified by the adjacent /t/? kwami (talk) 06:32, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
It might be. Fortification doesn't occur after liquids (unless they're homorganic), nor does it seem to occur after fricatives (e.g. desde). But now that you mention it, [ˈfut̪bo̞l] sounds more correct. Is that sort of cluster common in Spanish? It could be the case that fortification also occurs after other stops but that this only occurs in loanwords. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 07:00, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Allophones in brackets and dialectal variation charts[edit]

Many other articles of phonology add them, and these sounds are articulated by the Spanish speakers.

Spanish is a global language, it has got several major dialects juts as GA, RP, AE, etc. In the English phonology article it is well explained in different charts the variation of the vowels and diphthongs from dialect to dialect. In Spanish occurs a lot of alternation in the pronunciation from the major dialects to the major dialects (mainly consonant changes, but also vowels openings, and vowels nasalitasion, which is common in Southern Spain, Caribbean, Venezuela, Argentina... ) mainly the pronunciation of "s", which could be articulated in many ways (/h/, /s/, /silent with vowel opening/). In Spain the zones that drop "s" are Andalusia, Murcia, Extremadura, South Castile-La Mancha, South Valencian Community, the Canary Islands, Ceuta, and Melilla. In South America this is common as well in Venezuela, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Caribbean coast of Colombia, Panama, Chile, and Argentina. This should be highlighted on the article. It is remarkable that here it is added a sound /θ/ which is only articulated by less than 30 millions of people of all the speakers of Spanish, and it forgets about the /ʒ/ articulation of ll/y which is articulated by more people than articulates /θ/. Argentinians, Uruguayans and Paraguayans cannot see their sound there represented? It is as fear /θ/ as /ʒ/. And Spanish from northern Spain is a main dialect as well, as Argentinian-Paraguayan-Uruguayan.

The charts could be based in "the innovative pronunciation of Spanish" (Southern Spain, the Canary Islands, Venezuelan, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican Republica, Panama, Argentina), and "the conservative pronunciation of Spanish" (Northern Spanish dialect, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia...). And a better way would be getting based on this map,

Americans and Australians would not be very happy in the case they do not represent their vowel pronunciation on the English phonological article, and it would only have the Receive Pronunciation, which is far less used than the GA. Just the same happens with Spanish. Spanish as well has got different patterns and ways of pronunciation based on this map,

I would be glad to help the improvement of this article. (talk) 20:49, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Have you read the article or did you stop at the consonant chart? What you are asking for is present in the article. It's not in the chart because the chart is of vowel phonemes. — Ƶ§œš¹ b>[aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 21:18, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Of course I have read it, and to my point of view it is just the Spanish spoken in Spain by not all the population there, around 30 million people. If you have heard speakers from many places you would notice what I am trying to say, and this article doesn't show very good the allophones, which ARE real sounds articulated when people speak.

There are other pattern dialects aside the one shown here on this table of consonants. For those speakers from Andalusia, Canary Islands, Murcia, Venezuela, Cuba, Dominican Republic, blah, blah, blah... If these dialects drop "s" or turn it into /h/, won't exist other sounds, as /θ/, /z/, /ð/ (not /ð̞/).

Also lacks some explantion about vowels. Mid-vowels /e̞/ and /o̞/ might close and open to close-mid [e - o] and open-mid [ɛ - ɔ]. And it should be said that mid-vowels /e̞/ and /o̞/ are instable and could tend to be pronounced [e - o] and [ɛ - ɔ]. Many dictionaries differences following a rule of Tomás Navarro Tomás. [Spanish] Las vocales medias /e/ y /o/ presentan unos alófonos algo abiertos y cerrados, muy aproximados a [ɛ] y [o], en las siguientes posiciones:

En contacto con el sonido de doble erre ("rr") /r/, como en "perro", "torre", "remo", "roca". Cuando van precediendo al sonido /x/, como en "teja", "hoja". Cuando van formando parte de un diptongo decreciente, como en "peine", "boina". Además, el alófono abierto de /o/ se produce en toda sílaba que se encuentre trabada por consonante y el alófono abierto de /e/ aparece cuando se haya trabado por cualquier consonante que no sea /d/, /m/ y /n/: "pelma", "pesca", "pez", "costa", "olmo". El fonema /a/ presenta tres variedades alofónicas:

Una variedad palatal, cuando precede a consonantes palatales, como en "malla", "facha", "despacho". Otra variante velarizada se produce cuando precede a las vocales /o/, /u/ o a las consonantes /l/, /x/: "ahora", "pausa", "palma", "maja". Una variante media, que se realiza en los contornos no expresados en los párrafos anteriores: "caro", "compás", "sultán". (talk) 06:08, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Just comparing, the English phonology article adds /x/ in brackets, a sound I have hardly heard in English. There are sounds which are not allophones that are dialectal in Spanish, as the Scottish /x/... How many people pronounce an /x/ sound? The 5 million people that inhabits Scotland?! What about Spanish? /ʒ/, /h/, /ŋ/ etc ???!! Argentinian /ʒ/? Argentinian-Venezuelan-Andalusian-Cuban-Chilean-etc /h/? /ŋ/?? Andalusian-Caribbean-Venezuela... These are sounds as the /x/ in English. And the vowels opening in Andalusian and Murcian Spanish?
If you add /x/ in English, why in Spanish it cannot be added dialectal sounds?!

The English phonology article adds /x/ on the consonant table in brackets, and with a number clarifies it. It says:

Consonant phonemes of English Bilabial Labio-

dental Dental Alveolar Post- alveolar2 Palatal Velar Glottal Nasal1 m n ŋ Plosive p b t d k ɡ Affricate tʃ dʒ Fricative f v θ ð s z ʃ ʒ (x)3 h Approximant ɹ1, 2, 5 j w4 Lateral l1, 6

3. The voiceless velar fricative /x/ is dialectal, occurring largely in Scottish English. In other dialects, words with these sounds are pronounced with /k/.
Not only the English phonology article, the French one adds /ʎ/ and /ŋ/. /ʎ/ is dialectal... It's got to be very dialectal as I have never heared it. And /ŋ/, because it appears in words as "camping", "parking". These words also exist in Spanish, and the sound is very common in Andalusian Spanish and Caribbean Spanish.
Those sounds appears on the main consonant chart of French

What that article says:

IPA chart French consonants

Labial Dental/ Alveolar Palato- alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular plain lab. Nasal m n ɲ ŋ1 Plosive p b t d k ɡ Fricative f v s z ʃ ʒ ʁ2 Approximant3 j4 ɥ w Lateral l (ʎ)4

1. The velar nasal /ŋ/ is not a native phoneme of French, but occurs in loan words in final position such as parking or camping.[1] People who have difficulty with this sound replace it with a prenasalized [ŋɡ] sequence instead of a single consonant [ŋ].[citation needed] This sequence also appears almost systematically where there is a possible liaison with the initial vowel of a word pronounced just after it.[citation needed]
3. /ʎ/ has merged with /j/ in a number of dialects (including the standard). This accounts for the appearance of [j] in the syllable coda and minimal pairs like ail [aj] ('garlic') vs haï [ai] ('hated').[4]

Why is not fear to add real sounds to the Spanish consonant chart, whereas other languages add loanwords sounds and almost non-existent sounds as /ʎ/ (I have never EVER heard this sound in French!!)and /ŋ/ in French and /x/ in English.

The thing is... The Spanish phonology article lacks of order, lacks of sounds and a better explanation of the mutation of sounds in the pronunciation of Spanish. (talk) 07:51, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

It takes a bit to chisel through your prose, so if you could cut to the point in future posts, it would help.
One thing this article does not fall short on is explaining allophones or the phonetics of consonants. I can see reasoning behind enclosing θ and ʎ in parentheses since, as you point out, this is done at English phonology and other places in Wikipedia.
I'm pleased that you've gotten information about vowel allophony. It's from Manual de pronunciación española, right? Could you tell me what page (or pages) you're quoting from? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 08:47, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Spanish main dialects, and Spanish spoken in the media:

Would you please check these links? These ones contain a lot of information about the Spanish phonology and phonetics:

The sentence "Las estrellas parecen espejos" and "los dos" can be pronounced

  • Traditional Castilian Spanish [las e̞sˈtɾe̞ʎas paˈɾe̞θẽ̞n e̞sˈpe̞xo̞s] / [lo̞z do̞s]
  • Eastern Andalusian Spanish-Murcian-Southern Castile-La Mancha [læ̞ ɛˈtɾe̞ʝæ̞ paˈɾe̞θẽ̞n ɛˈpe̞xɔ] / [lɔ dɔ]
  • Western Andalusian Spanish [las/lah ɛ̞ʰˈtɾe̞ʝaʰ paˈɾe̞θẽ̞ŋ ɛ̞ʰˈpe̞hɔ̞ʰ] / [lɔ̞ʰ dɔ̞ʰ] (the "s" in las, followed by a vowel can be pronounced [s] or [h], depending on the speaker]
  • Canarian Spanish [las/lah e̞hˈtɾe̞ʝah paˈɾe̞θẽ̞ŋ ehˈpe̞ho̞h] / [lo̞h do̞h] (the "s" in las, followed by a vowel can be pronounced [s] or [h], depending on the speaker)
  • Mexican Spanish [las e̞sˈtɾe̞ʝas paˈɾe̞θẽ̞n e̞sˈpe̞xo̞s] / [lo̞z do̞s] (Mexican Spanish relaxes unstress vowels)
  • Colombian Spanish [las e̞sˈtɾe̞ʝas paˈɾe̞θẽ̞n e̞sˈpe̞xo̞s] / [lo̞z do̞s]
  • Venezuelan-Caribbean Spanish [lah e̞hˈtɾe̞ʝah paˈɾe̞θẽ̞ŋ e̞hˈpe̞ho̞h] / [lo̞h do̞h]
  • Argentinian Spanish [las ɛ̞ʰˈtɾe̞ʒas paˈɾe̞θẽ̞n ɛ̞ʰˈpe̞xo̞s] / [lɔ̞ʰ do̞s]
  • Chilean Spanish [las ɛ̞ʰˈtɾe̞ʝaʰ paˈɾe̞θẽ̞n ɛ̞ʰˈpe̞xɔ̞ʰ] / [lɔ̞ʰ dɔ̞ʰ]

Bolivian Spanish:

(/ʃ/) could be added as well, there are common English loan words, plus other, which are pronounced with /ʃ/ as show, fashion, flash, squash... (talk) 21:41, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Those are some nice finds. My Spanish isn't too hot, so it might take me a while to understand them. It seems that is connected to Joaquim Llisterri and the links you've provided from that site look like thorough summaries of what different sources say. The Almeida, Ávila, and Gordon pieces all look scholarly and shouldn't be too hard to cite if they provide useful information.
It seems that the different pronunciations of a particular Spanish utterence might be better suited for Spanish dialects. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 04:44, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
If you need any help with anything, you can ask me :)
I think it is important, at least in Spanish to cite the main dialects on the phonology article. As English cites Received Pronunciation, General American, General Australian... I know there is just a(n) RAE. But the reality is more decentralised. Couldn't the phonology table be based at least on the four main dialects; Castilian Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Caribbean Spanish, and Southern Cone Spanish? And if this article cannot add all the Spanish allophones, can these be added on the "IPA transcription for Spanish" article?
There are two ways to spell words // and [], in a phonological way, which is only based on the proper phonemes, does not show what people may pronounce in Spanish.
This is kind of difficult to see where all these sounds fit good. And I think it is more real, at least for the Spanish language to use phonetics [] rather than pure phonology which do not show what is the real pronunciation of the sound.

Another thing, this article says: Caribbean dialects, as well as those of Panama and of the Atlantic coast off Colombia, exhibit a form of simplification of coda consonants. It should be added, this feature is also done in Andalusia, Murcia, Extremadura, South Castile-La Mancha, Canary Islands, and also in Venezuela. ven pronounced /bẽ/. However Andalusian phonology is more complex and they drop more sounds or mutate them.

Final /d/ or more real [ð̞], is common to be silent in most of the Spanish speaking countries. Nowadays it is dropped most of the times, Madrid or usted are correctly pronounced [ma'ð̞ri] and [us'te̞], and [ma'ð̞rið̞] and [us'te̞ð̞], other possible pronunciations are [ma'ð̞riθ] and [us'te̞θ], and [ma'ð̞rit] and [us'te̞t]. <

It is totally wrong that you have put those sounds in brakets... Those are real sounds.

It is not fear the point of writing phonology articles, does it follows the same pattern in all of them? As, as far I can see it says unlogical things, as in the French one including /ʎ/ and the English one including /x/ a sound only pronounced in Scotland. So, in Spanish can we include the sounds in Andalusia, which forms the Kingdom of Spain as much as Scotland forms the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. I don't see logic on this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:56, 6 August 2009 (UTC) (talk) 06:29, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't understand. The parentheses simply mean that the phonemes don't appear in all dialects. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 19:48, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
What is what you dont understand? You include a sound that appear only in one dialect in English, the /x/ sound for the word loch, in Scotish English... So following this pattern you should include for Spanish /h/,

/ʰ/, /ʒ/, /ŋ/, etc... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:46, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

You're confusing phonemes and allophones. [h] is an allophone of /s/ in coda position for a number of dialects and [ŋ] is an allophone of /n/ before velar consonants and, in some dialects, in coda position. These aren't separate phonemes, but contextual variants. Similarly [h] and [ʒ] aren't separate phonemes, they're the same phoneme as /x/ and /ʝ/, respectively, with different phonetic properties. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 00:04, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Am I correct in understanding that Ávila is saying (page 10) that varieties that have /θ/ don’t have /ʃ/ and vice versa? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 04:58, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Consonant allophones[edit]

The article is not *useful* for my purpose of quickly finding a summary with dialect (how about 2 dialects ??) differentiation of allophones. It appears to lack simple tables or lists of simple examples for consonant sounds. Since I am trying to learn these I am not able to write the article; those who can - please do. I can go read Martínez-Celdrán for in-depth phonemics. Thanks ! Netrapt (talk) 03:52, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree with you, at least the explanation about the sounds' changing (consonant mutation, from voiceless to voiced) should be better explained and clearer - [z]~/s/, [ð]~/θ/, [v]~/f/, [χ]~/x/, [β̞]~/b/, [ð̞]~/d/, [ɣ̞]~/g/, etc. - It is good the table of the "N" archiphoneme and its allophones in Spanish. The rest of the allophones are sounds as well and they should be included on a table for a better view. (talk) 06:31, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Netrapt, I'm really confused here. This article isn't useful to you because it doesn't summarize how dialects differ phonetically in a simple table? What makes you think that this is what this article should set out to do? What sort of "examples for consonant sounds" table are you looking for? There are three in the article already.
There are seven tables on the article right now. I'm open to what other tables people have in mind, but a blanket list of allophones is not a characteristic of a quality phonology article. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 08:35, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

A little problem here....[edit]

I have read through this, and thing like nasal vowels,/θ/,[z],[v],[χ], are purely dialectal and should be noted as such. Also, germination occurs in phrases such as "son nuevos" in some dialects, instead of [ˈsõ̞ ˈnwe̞βo̞s]. Does any one else see this problem? Is this not Spanish phonology and not purely mainstream European Spanish phonology? ₭øμt̪ũ (talk) 19:21, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Right now it kinda is mainstream European Spanish phonology (as is expalined in the beginning of the article. Statements about other dialects should be sourced. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 00:33, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
So shouldn't references from other dialects be removed? And should separate pages for other dialects be made? I also think the page should be renamed to "European Spanish phonology" if it only shows the phonology of European Spanish. Maybe in the same sense that English does, one page for European Spanish, and another for Mexican Spanish( Most widespread Spanish). But, doing so, you would have to include the sub-dialects of Mexican Spanish. — ₭øμt̪ũ (talk) 01:21, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
You should include in this article the pronunciation of the main dialects of the Spanish language.

As in the English phonology article, it is so well explained the vowel alternation among American English (GA), British English (RP), Australian English... In Spanish occurs alternation in consonants, from Mexico to Argentina, and from Castile to Andalusia and the Spanish speaking countries in the Caribbean. Why can I only see the pattern from Castile, and not the most spoken pattern as the Mexico one? Or just any other pattern than this one. Mexican Spanish tends to drop vowels, whereas other dialects tend to drop consonants and open vowels, etc.

Yes, these sounds /θ/,[z],[v],[χ] are from Castilian Spanish. However these sounds are not present in dialects where /s/, /x/, and /θ/ are dropped (S-dropping dialects)

Moreover [z] and [v] are sounds from Mexican Spanish, inland Colombian Spanish, in addition to Castilian Spanish. But these sounds are not pronounced in the Spanish Caribbean dialects, Southern Spain and the Canary Islands, most of Argentina and Uruguay.

All Spanish dialects nasalise vowels when they are in contact with nasals, however this has got a point of controversy as there are dialects that may drop the nasal consonants or pronounce the nasal as velar (Southern Spain and the Canary Islands, Caribbean Spanish, coast of Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica) and the rest of dialects would pronounced the nasal consonants as it is, plus the nasal vowel.

Mexican Spanish, tends to drop vowels and pronounce all the consonants, this dialect does not drop /s/, /x/... They use [z], [v] but not /θ/~[ð] (it is not the same than [ð̞])... In fact, "durazno" is pronounced [du'ɾazno̞]. Yes the "z" is [z]. "Asno" is pronounced as ['azno̞]. In Castilian (Northern and Central Spain), "durazno" would be pronounced [du'ɾaðno̞] and "asno" the same than in Mexico, ['azno̞]. In Andalusian, and the rest of the s-dropping dialects could be, ['ahno], ['anno] and ['æ̞no] In Mexican Spanish they reduce vowels, to complete omission. Trastos [tɾasts]. (talk) 14:36, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

What sub-dialect of Mexican Spanish are you referring to? I have never heard [v] in it, and I thought it was nonexistent in any dialect of Spanish( except for uneducated Spanish in the U.S.) But I have heard of the voicing of s before a nasal( from my mothers side), but its not existent in all. ₭øμt̪ũ 23:52, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

/v/ doesn't exist in Spanish, only by some educated and bilingual people who might use it in Spanish; the sound /v/ exists in Alicante, Valencia, Castellón and the Balearic Islands by bilingual speakers. Most people who speak catalan/valencian in these places pronounce /v/ in Spanish. There are also educated Spanish speakers from Spain and South America who pronounce /v/ and not /b/, however this is not standard as Spanish lacks of this sound.

What I was talking about is [v], as "an allophone of /f/", (do not get confused with /v/, the phoneme). [v] or a voiced /f/, exists in Spanish, the /f/ as /s/, needs to be in contact with a voiced consonant to be pronounced as [v] and [z]. ['davne̞] Dafne, [av'ɣ˕ano̞] afgano; asno ['azno]. These sounds are allophones. I've listened to so many singers who use /v/ all the time without pronouncing it as /b/. And I have met very educated South Americans, as Venezuelans, and Chilians who pronounce "v" as /v/ and not /b/. The s-voicing [z] doesn't exist in the dialects that drop consonants and mainly "s" (so obvious). So, if your dialect doesn't drop consonants and you pronounce /s/ you might also pronounce [z].

Another thing, in Spain the English word "pub" is pronounced /paf/, yes with an /f/. But, "club" is pronounced /klub/. So, in Spain the sentence "el pub de Marta" would be pronounced [e̞l pav ð̞e̞ 'maɾta] It is also remarkable the pronunciation of the word "ovni", which i've heard so many times ['o̞vni], yes with [v]. And also, but much less ['o̞β̞ni].

This is a never ending story. The Spanish phonology article doesn't show the main differences amongst the main Spanish dialects as the English one does. You can see on the English phonology article how the British pronounce, and also how do the Americans and the Australians. Americans use an r-coloured vowel whereas British drops "r"... Well very similar in Spanish, but the letter is not "r" but "s". So, what about the Spanish phonology article?!?! An Andalusian would pronounce different from a Castilian as an America would from a British... And what about the Mexican, Argentinian. This article continues to be so poor and deficient. You include on the English phonology article the /x/ for a sound it only appears in Scotland. Is it the most spoken English accent in the world? I don't get why you can say on the English phonology article /x/ exists for only a word "loch" where most of the speakers pronounce it with /k/ at the end. And you cannot say real information about the main Spanish dialects on this article.

The English phonology article includes sounds from the Scottish English /x/, and the Spanish one doesn't even include sounds from South America, or even allophones properly so that people can see the REAL pronunciation because you don't allow it, even though there are loads of sources with more information to put on here. The French phonology article includes /ʎ/ (dialectal) and /ŋ/ (loan from English)...

Anyway, this is Wikipedia :) (talk) 01:17, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

We have some sourced information on dialectal differences. As the article's primary contributor to its present state, I can say that of the resources I've had access, there is more attention on Standard Spanish. This is one of the reasons this article focuses on Standard Spanish. This can change in the future, but all information should be sourced.
What phonemes are missing in the chart? There's no reason to put allophones. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 06:10, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

"Consonants in parentheses are phonemes of Standard Spanish but absent in many dialects, especially those in Latin America".

The /ʎ/ sound does exist in Latin America, it is common in Paraguay, Bolivia and some parts of Peru and Colombia. So that sentence is wrong. (talk) 00:01, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

The sentence is technically correct as it isn't saying that /ʎ/ is completely absent in Latin America. How should it be worded to be less confusing? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 01:58, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

I think it should be better said, "Consonants in parentheses are phonemes of Standard Spanish but absent in many dialects". without referring to Latin America. In Spain itself there are zones where /ʎ/ and /θ/ don't exist; as the Canary Islands, many zones of Andalusia, etc. There are zones in Spain where /θ/ doesn't exist but exists /ʎ/, this occurs in the South of Alicante, some parts of Galicia. Also, there are zones where /ʎ/ doesn't exist but /θ/ exists, many parts of Andalusia. Another thing is that /ʎ/ doesn't exist in some metropolitan areas of Spain. It exists though in the second largest city of Spain, Barcelona. (talk) 17:53, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

this is a map that shows the distribution of /ʎ/ as a separate phoneme and this shows that of /θ/. The absence of these phonemes is especially prevalent outside of Northern Spain and not mentioning it would be a removal of important information. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 18:08, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes, only /θ/ exists in Spain, and I think it does in Equatorial Guinea as well, I don't know that much about it. However /ʎ/ is still common in few countries of South America, mainly in Bolivia and Paraguay. So, you can say that sentence if you refer to /θ/. (talk) 19:34, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

But the sentence doesn't say that the consonants are completely absent from Latin America. It says that they're rarer there, which is true for both consonants. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 21:10, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Maybe there are phonemes missing[edit]

I think that /w/ and /j/ (written hi- and hu- plus vowel)are phonemes, for example:

Huevo (egg) /weβ̞o/

Hielo (ice) /jelo/

Maybe in most dialects hie- and ye- are homophones, but in Argentinean Spanish and many others, there is s distinction between hie- and ye-, for example: Hielo (ice) is pronounced /jelo/ and Yelo is pronounced /ʃelo/ —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tuuagso (talkcontribs) 19:28, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

The article actually deals with this. This phonemic w, which differs from a nonsyllabic u, is represented as [w̝] in the article (though I have seen it argued that it is an underlyingly labialized velar plosive /ɡʷ/). The phonemic j that differs from non-syllabic i is represented as [ʝ], though, as you imply, its realization differs from dialect to dialect. The latter is widespread and is even in the consonant chart but the distribution of the former is less clear without further sourcing.
Another thing, the orthographic representation of /ʝ/, is not limited to <hi> before vowels. It's also represented by <y> before vowels as in yendo and yo. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 20:47, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

/ɛ̝/ = /e̞/ and /ɔ̝/ = /o̞/[edit]

For a better view, and for contrasting with the mid-close vowels, /e/ and /o/, and the mid-open vowels, /ɛ/ and /ɔ/. The Spanish vowels "e" and "o" are real mid vowels, it should be added for people to see the Spanish vowels are somehow higher than /e/ and somehow lower than /ɛ/. Same for "o". (talk) 01:58, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

That's what the diacritic is for. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 04:10, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Yeh I know! But both sounds /ɛ̝/ and /ɔ̝/ are just the same as /e̞/ and /o̞/, and to specify so the readers can contrast and compare the Spanish (and Romanian) mid vowels with the close-mid vowels /e/-/o/ and open-mid vowels /ɛ/-/ɔ/ that are used by the rest of the major Romance languages (Portuguese, French, Catalan, Italanian) /e/-/o/ and /ɛ/-/ɔ/.
So, for a better understanding; /ɛ̝/ = /e̞/ and /ɔ̝/ = /o̞/ in Spanish and Romanian. (talk) 10:01, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
If they're the same, why would both make it easier to understand? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 03:45, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Because it is a mid vowel!! Both are synonymous, the same, equal sounds!! /ɛ̝/ = /e̞/ and /ɔ̝/ = /o̞/, something in between [e] and [ɛ] and [o] and [ɔ].
Let me tell you the English "r" is an approximant /ɹ/ for most of the English speakers. Currently, it is transcribed as /r/ (this is a rolled "r", coronal trill. The "r" pronunciation found in Spanish or Scottish English). Why is it /r/ and not /ɹ/?! It is so obvious, so one can understand it better. So, i am arguing about two equal sounds and not about something that is totally different.
/r/, /ɹ/, /ʀ/,/ʁ/ ([ʁ̝]: uvular fricative and [ʁ̝] uvular approximant).
Why are you so reluctant? (talk) 18:49, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Let me see if I get your argument correctly. Right now, the article transcribes the Spanish mid vowels as [e̞] and [o̞], using the symbols for close-mid vowels with a lowering diacritic to indicate that they are mid. You're arguing that we should, in tandem, also use [ɛ̝] and [ɔ̝]--that is, the symbols for open-mid vowels with a raising diacritic that indicates they are mid--to represent the same vowels.
You're saying that this would help illustrate that they are mid vowels, but the diacritic serves that purpose already. Adding the other vowels would just make it more confusing. In addition, I've never seen the open-mid vowels used to represent the mid vowels of Spanish unless a source is talking about actual open-mid allophones. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 23:50, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Honestly it is more confusing transcribing in English /ɹ/ as /r/ and no one complains (there is no relation between /ɹ/ and /r/ as equal sounds). Yes, i know what diacritics are for. And it would be just for contrasting with other Romance languages where they differenciate between close-mid vowels and mid-open vowels. In Spanish, "e" and "o" are in between /e/ and /ɛ/ & /o/ and /ɔ/, so a lowered /e̞/ and /o̞/ are just the same as a raised /ɛ̝/ and /ɔ̝/, synonymous mid vowels :) (talk) 13:05, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Actually, there is some relation between the different rhotic consonants as our article on rhotic consonant perhaps could do a better job at. More importantly, though, linguistics sources commonly use "r" for the English rhotic because it's easier typographically. Similarly, though you are right that using the close-mid vowels and open-mid vowel are just as accurate, the former is much more common in sources on Spanish. Perhaps it is for the same reason (typographical constraints).
By the way, there's a discussion here about creating articles for truly mid vowels akin to the articles close-mid front unrounded vowel and open-mid front unrounded vowel. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 21:46, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, you are right. So at the moment as there is not a single IPA symbol for /ɛ̝/ - /e̞/ and /ɔ̝/ - /o̞/, we could use them in some explation for contrasting until these sounds get unified on a single symbol. It would be good, as well, to mention; the Spanish mid vowels are in between /e/ and /ɛ/ & /o/ and /ɔ/. :D (talk) 13:00, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Standard Spanish[edit]

I quote from above:

As the article's primary contributor to its present state, I can say that of the resources I've had access, there is more attention on Standard Spanish. This is one of the reasons this article focuses on Standard Spanish. [...] — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 06:10, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

There is not just one Standard Spanish. Every country has its Standard Spanish, and this article focuses on Standard Spanish from Spain. Not even Real Academia Española is so ethnocentric.

Por su carácter de lengua supranacional, hablada en más de veinte países, el español constituye, en realidad, un conjunto de normas diversas, que comparten, no obstante, una amplia base común (talk) 17:11, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

If focusing on Standard Peninsular Spanish is ethnocentric, then the body of research used for this article reflects academic ethnocentricity. I don't think either is true, but it doesn't really matter. Complaining that a page such as this has POV problems won't fix them if we don't bring additional (pluricentric?) sources to our contributions. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 19:39, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Diccionario panhispánico de dudas (quoted above) is pluralistic (if nor perfect at that). See for example I'm very surprised to see in your user page that you are American: I thought that only in Europe was held the vision that peninsular Spanish is the only variant to be taught to foreigners. Americans normally teach many variants, or if only one is used, they typically choose the one from Mexico (the country with more Spanish speakers) and not the one from Spain. (talk) 22:26, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
How will that dictionary help? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 22:32, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Spanish Dictionaries With IPA Support[edit]

It would be nice to have a link to any Spanish dictionary which has actual support to show the user the Spanish phonology in IPA. Unfortunately I am not aware of such a dictionary. All dictionaries I know (, EUDict, SpanishDict) do not have this. SpanishDict actually does but only a (subjective) non-IPA version e.g. denunciar [day-noon-the-ar’]. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tobiaswunner (talkcontribs) 15:47, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

'Gran diccionario español-portugués' (Espasa) has IPA-indicated pronunciation of Spanish. It can be found online with free of charge: Gran diccionario español-portugués (Espasa) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Linda Martens (talkcontribs) 20:46, 7 November 2010 (UTC)


These dropped consonants do appear when additional suffixation occurs (compases [komˈpase] 'beats', venían [beˈnian] 'they were coming', comeremos [koˈmeɾemo] 'we will eat').

What is dropped in [beˈnian]? --Error (talk) 21:07, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Ven [bẽ], venían [beˈnian]. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 21:49, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Font problems[edit]

Under "Phonetic notes", at the end of the third paragraph, the phonemic renditions of "ley" and "leyes" unfortunately look like lowercase versions of "LEL" and "LELES". Wiki's sans-serif font makes it impossible to distinguish between the uppercase vowel "I" and lowercase "L". The footnoted apology seems like an inadequate response to the problem. Can Wikipedia access a serifed font? What other solutions are available? Kotabatubara (talk) 20:15, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

The Classic skin uses a serifed font, if you can accept a personal solution. --Error (talk) 21:16, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
The Classic skin is available at the preferences page that I linked, section appearance. It will work for you but not for people with other skins such as the default one. --Error (talk) 14:52, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Epenthetic /e/[edit]

So, I was talking with a friend about Spanish, and I decided to come here in search of an explanation for the epenthetic /e/ in words like estados or Esteban. Instead of information that tells us 'why' Spanish speakers decided to insert an /e/ in front of otherwise word-initial /s/, I find this: "Because of these phonotactic constraints, an epenthetic /e/ is inserted before word-initial cluster beginning with /s/ (e.g. escribir 'to write') but not word-internally (transcribir 'to transcribe'),[66] thereby moving the initial /s/ to a separate syllable." That is not an explanation, it's a reification of the data couched in terms of a phonological analysis. If one unpacks the statement, what we're saying is "Spanish speakers insert /e/ in front of word-initial /s/," but that is not an explanation that I can imagine native Spanish speakers assenting to. The History of Spanish article has nothing really to say about it, and as my linguistic interests lie in other areas I'm not exactly the person to deal with it. It definitely is something that needs fixing. Duke Atreides (talk) 21:58, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

What sort of 'explanation' are you looking for? What is the 'explanation' for the English aspiration of tore ([tʰɔɹ]) but not store ([stɔɹ])? In French, neither tort nor store has an aspirated t. Why? And what explanation do you think English speakers would assent to? (Since most of them are completely unaware of this.) --Macrakis (talk) 22:25, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
A real explanation, that's what. "Spanish speakers insert /e/ in front of word-initial /s/ because /s/ cannot be word-initial," is what the article says right now. Well yes, Wikipedia authors, thank you for telling me that Spanish does not permit word-initial /s/. "Spanish speakers insert /e/ in front of word-initial /s/ because of [insert relevant historical sound changes]" would be an explanation. You ask something pretty irrelevant; the [tʰ]/[t] alternation is allophonic. The Spanish [e]/∅ alternation is presumably not allophonic; I can't imagine a reasonable grammar of Spanish giving /steban/ as the underlying form of "Esteban". How is an L1 learner of Spanish to generalize the [e] out of the underlying form?
Duke Atreides (talk) 00:57, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
As a matter of fact, /e/ epenthesis does appear to be productive and obligatory (so there is no e/∅ alternation in those environments): I have a Spanish colleague who systematically inserts it in English words like 'storage', 'Steven', etc., so I wouldn't be shocked by an analysis that postulated underlying /steban/. How do L1 learners pick up phonotactic constraints? I don't know. They surely don't pick them up from the historical sound changes, even if some of the historical sound changes are reflected in synchronic phonological processes. And in general they can't explain them ("explanation that...native...speakers assent to"). I see on your page that you are studying linguistics. Perhaps there are theories I don't know about which would explain this sort of thing -- and I'd be happy to learn about them. --Macrakis (talk) 01:28, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Let me rephrase my criticisms. As it stands, we have an article that gives a reification trying to mask itself as an explanation. It essentially says that Spanish does things this way because Spanish does things this way. Now, I'm fine with the assertion "Spanish does things this way." The "explanation" though, is a little bizarre. Using the principle of maximum onset seems to be an actual explanation, and you can say something like "historically, /e/ was epenthesized before word-initial /s/, and thanks to cross-linguistic syllabification processes all other cases of syllable initial /s/ were moved into the coda of the preceding syllable." It explains the state of modern Spanish with more than a "just because," and explains the productivity of the cross-linguistic alternation of e/∅.
Duke Atreides (talk) 03:57, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
So how does that adverb "historically" explain the epenthesis? And "cross-linguistic syllabification processes" doesn't seem like much of an explanation either. But hey, if that's the way linguists explain these things, let's find a reliable source and add it to the article. --Macrakis (talk) 10:42, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
A historical explanation accounts for the structure of the modern language without resorting to the structure of the modern language. It tells us how we got to where we are.
As far as cross-linguistic syllabification goes, languages across the world exhibit a very clear tendency of assigning as many consonants as can be word-initial to the onset of a syllable. Anything left-over is then in the coda of the preceding syllable. It's a stronger effect in some languages than in others, but it predicts syllabifications like /trans.cri.bir/ given that no Spanish word starts with /sC/.
Duke Atreides (talk) 19:27, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm with Macrakis on this. It is apparent that a historical process occurred in Spanish to create the present phonotactic constraints, but we need reliable sources that go into detail on this. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 21:22, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

(outdent) There was a Romance-wide change that occurred in Proto-Romance and added short /i/ onto the beginning of all clusters of /s/+consonant. The /i/ was lowered to mid-high /e/ in Western Romance (the ancestors of Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese) by the standard Western Romance vowel changes. This /e/ was later deleted in Italian; this is why Italian now has a prefix s- meaning "un", from Latin ex- (Romance es-). Now why was this the case? Why do any historical changes occur, and why do they occur in some places but not others? There aren't really good answers for this. There are general tendencies (e.g. bilabial /ɸ/ tends to become labiodental /f/ because the latter is a lot more prominent) but no way to predict when certain changes happen. Why did Old French have an extremely heavy stress accent but now French has basically no accent at all? Why did Middle French delete almost all final consonants but now French heavily favors closed consonant-final monosyllables? Why have vowels been so stable but consonants so unstable in the last 2000 years or so of Spanish, and why is it precisely the opposite in English? Benwing (talk) 07:53, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Wasn't the Italian /e/ raised to /i/ (as /e/ is generally in pre-tonic syllables, if I remember right) before being deleted? The realisation of in Svizzera as /inisvittsera/ still preserves a trace of the epenthetic or rather prothetic vowel then. (Hm, I thought I'd read this interesting little factoid in Wikipedia, but I can't find it again. Weird.) Oh, and why do you count Italian as Western Romance? Tuscan may have the Western Romance vowel system (but not all of the characteristic other changes, such as /kt/ > /jt/), but some of the other Italian dialects don't, and even Tuscan is not normally counted as Western Romance as it is south of the La Spezia–Rimini line. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:57, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
Ah, here it is: Romance languages#Prosthesis. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 23:21, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

detailed phonology[edit]

There used to be a very detailed description of allophones etc. in this article. Where is it?-- (talk) 18:10, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

It's in the article. Have you read it? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 01:05, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

We need a basic version of this[edit]

While the actual phonology is an interesting topic, there is nothing on this page that would give someone the basics. Spanish pronunciation links here, but when the average person searches for that, they just want to know how to pronounce a word. A phonemically correct pronunciation is simple to explain, and can be sourced from nearly any Spanish/English dictionary.

While Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and thus the current content is suitable, it is a general purpose encyclopedia. If at all possible, each article needs to be made where a layman can get a basic idea of the subject. This appears to be written for phonologists.

It won't take much: just that basic list of the closest English representations of the Spanish phonemes. While there are some esoteric dialects of English, it is fairly simple to get one that works for 90% of speakers. And the remaining 10% with a different dialect usually at least know about the dialect of the other 90%, so they would also be helped.

Finally, I could see this being part of the introduction, or a separate article. Pronunciation and phonology are not typically used to mean the same thing, so a basic article at Spanish pronunciation that links to this one for more information would be useful.

Then again, it could pretty much be a table, like the one used in Wikipedia:IPA for Spanish. Heck, if that were a proper encyclopedia article, I'd just make Spanish pronunciation redirect there, since that's what the average person will want to know. — trlkly 17:13, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Benwing (talk) 01:43, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

IPA-ify this article please[edit]

This article uses non-IPA pronunciation symbols, namely [s̠ s̄ θ̦ θ]. It would be nice if these were corrected to proper IPA symbols. -- machᵗᵃˡᵏ👍 06:03, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes that would indeed be nice, but there simply aren't any unambiguous IPA symbols for these sounds. In particular, there are no IPA diacritics for tongue shape characteristics. The first symbol above is in fact IPA, and the others are quoted from the original literature. The IPA is sorely lacking when it comes to sibilants, which is why even the phonetics bible "The Sounds of the World's Languages" uses ad-hoc symbols like [ṣ] [ŝ]. Benwing (talk) 07:34, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

allophones of <r>[edit]

I see now that Martinez-Celdran et al are claiming that trilled r occurs syllable-finally. Maybe, possibly, in highly exaggerated formal speech like you might hear from radio announcers, but hardly in normal circumstances. Most sources claim that trilled r only occurs initially, when written <rr> or after /l/, /n/ and /s/ (and in these latter circumstances it's somewhat questionable; citing from memory, one source said that a normal trilled r is something like 3-5 taps while after /l/, /n/, /s/ it's only 1-2 taps; also, the Spanish-Portuguese dictionary link that someone else gave has a tap in Israel -- as well as, of course, syllable-finally in words such as carta and amor).

I'll have to go see what Martinez-Celdran et al actually say, but if they don't qualify what they say about r, I'd take a great deal else of what they say with a lot of salt as well. Benwing (talk) 03:27, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

1–2 contacts would still be a trill. You can have a one-contact trill. — kwami (talk) 08:45, 2 June 2011 (UTC)


I don't think we need a separate Spanish pronunciation article that is, in essence, a content fork that repeats WP:IPA for Spanish and duplicates the format that this article was in before the large bulky tables were converted into actual prose. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 21:02, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

A user requested an easier version of the Spanish phonology article. I did copy it from WP:IPA for Spanish but I meant to get around to reorganizing it by letter, which I just did. This now expresses something rather different from WP:IPA for Spanish, in that it specifically indicates how to pronounce written Spanish, which WP:IPA for Spanish doesn't do very well. Benwing (talk) 17:57, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
That's not quite what the user asked for anyway, but it still shouldn't be a separate article. That table can easily be put into Spanish orthography. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 21:57, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree with the merging, this looks like a copy of WP:IPA for Spanish. Jɑυмe (xarrades) 19:36, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done I have merged the content that was at the Spanish pronunciation fork to Spanish orthography. This way, the novel display of information is maintained in article space (though I tweaked it a little). I think the addition of the table makes the Spanish orthography page look more like Irish orthography, which I have found useful in the past. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 20:59, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Voiceless bilabial fricative[edit]

The article currently states: A common pronunciation of /f/ in nonstandard speech is the voiceless bilabial fricative [ɸ], so that fuera is pronounced [ˈɸweɾa] rather than [ˈfweɾa]. Are [f] and [ɸ] in free variation or is there a condition?

The example currently used could be taken as indicating that [ɸ] occurs only before bilabial constrictions such as [w], which would make a lot of sense phonetically. (Or perhaps [ɸ] was historically an allophone of */h/ before liquids and glides, and its retention in this position is an archaism, while /f/ is a later reintroduction from Latin, with which [ɸ] was subsequently merged? Just wild speculation.)

Moreover, I've noticed that Voiceless bilabial fricative#Occurrence lists an additional source of this sound, namely as an allophone of /b/ after [h] as an allophone of /s/, not only the devoicing of [β̞] (or the phoneme /b/) in syllabic coda position. Perhaps this might also merit mention? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:26, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

My understanding is that it's a free variant. If there's a condition, the source used didn't go into it. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 19:16, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Pronunciation of "Slim"[edit]

"Even in formal speech, /m/ is disallowed in word-final position, so a word such as Islam is regularly rendered as /isˈlan/."

"Slim is pronounced /es'lim/". These two statements conflict. Should the article explain? TomS TDotO (talk) 11:35, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

No, that was an oversight. The article Carlos Slim transcribes it with an [m], but it's in the fuller name that follows Slim with Helú. So far, I haven't seen any sources talking about alternations between [m] and [n] with suffixation. I've fixed the transcription (not the translation, as I said in the edit summary). Do you think it would be a good idea to transcribe both Slim and Islam in phonetic brackets just to be safe? — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 13:13, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Confusing comment about /ʃ/[edit]

The article says: The phoneme /ʃ/ only occurs in loanwords, in many dialects there is a tendency to substitute it for /tʃ/ or /s/.

This is a comma splice and that makes the meaning unclear. Does this mean that the dialects use /tʃ/ or /s/ instead of /ʃ/ (the erroneous sense of "substitute" as a synonym for "replace"), or /ʃ/ instead of /tʃ/ or /s/ (the correct meaning of "substitute")? The comment about loanwords would suggest it is the former, but the second part of the sentence suggests it is the latter. Using "replace ... with ..." or "use ... instead of ..." (and resolving the comma splice) would make the meaning clearer. — (talk) 14:33, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, it's the former. A better way to word it would be "The phoneme /ʃ/ only occurs in loanwords; many speakers have difficulty with this sound, tending to replace it with /tʃ/ or /s/."
Incidentally, there are dialects that have de-affricated /tʃ/. I assume that these are the speakers who don't replace /ʃ/. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 15:11, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Phonotactics: Spanish syllable[edit]

There is an example given: Examples of maximal codas: instalar /ins.taˈlar/, perspectiva /pers.pekˈ

I was under the assumption that Spanish can't have s in syllable final position unless there is a vowel before it. For example, you have goles "goals" but you don't have *gols. Shouldn't it be (talk) 17:28, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

That may be true (can't think of any counter examples) but Spanish also can't have /sp/ or /st/ in the syllable onset. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 18:04, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
In loanwords from Classical Latin, groups of more than 1 consonant in coda can appear, especially ns, ks and rs. All of them are considered tautosyllabic. Jotamar (talk) 16:58, 22 September 2012 (UTC)


Not mentioned in this article, nor on its own elsewhere, is the phenomenon of enlace. Is this an oversight or has it been determined that this doesn't exist in the wikiworld? (talk) 16:12, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

It certainly should be included, in the Phonotactics section, I guess. Your link looks good, but a more academic source would be better. Jotamar (talk) 13:59, 26 April 2013 (UTC)