Spanish Phonology

A Syllabic Perspective

Sonia Colina

"This is an excellent book . . . [It] will be invaluable to students, scholars, and anyone seeking to understand the Spanish sound system from a state-of-the-art theoretical perspective."
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Spanish Phonology offers a comprehensive analysis of a variety of crucial issues in the phonology and morphophonology of various dialects of Spanish including syllable types, syllabification algorithms, syllable repair mechanisms, syllable mergers, nasal assimilation, obstruent vocalization and spirantization, obstruent neutralization, diphthongs and hiatuses, glide formation, onset strengthening, aspiration, rhotics, velarization, plural formation, word classes, and diminutives.

Written from the perspective of optimality theory and with syllabic structure at its core, this volume highlights recent advances in Spanish phonology.

The book includes margin notes to highlight key points and a glossary of constraints. Each chapter includes study questions, lists of the most influential sources for each chapter, and topics for further research. Spanish Phonology is intended as core reading for advanced phonology courses in Spanish linguistics, general linguistics, and related areas such as bilingualism, language variation, language acquisition, and speech and hearing.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Syllable Types and Phonotactics

3. Syllabification Across Words

4. The Syllable and Morphological Constituents

5. Repair Mechanisms and Structure Improvement: Epenthesis and Deletion

6. Conclusion

A. Glossary of Constraints

B. Summary of Constraint Rankings



"An excellent and original contribution to the field of Spanish phonology. . . . A versatile work which may be utilized in a variety of academic contexts since it provides many resources for students and professors to bridge the gaps in needed areas."—Hispania

"Undoubtedly the most important contribution to the study of the syllabic phonology of Spanish produced in the last two decades. Written within the framework of optimality theory, Colina addresses in a clear and insightful way a wide range of issues related to syllabic constituency and its interaction with other domains of Spanish phonology and morphology. The volume will be an invaluable asset and an indispensable resource for graduate Spanish phonology courses and for future research on Spanish syllable structure."—Fernando Martínez-Gil, associate professor of Hispanic linguistics, The Ohio State University

"In this groundbreaking book, Sonia Colina offers a clear and comprehensive analysis of syllable-related phonology in Spanish from the perspective of optimality theory. Spanish Phonology should be required reading for all students and scholars of Spanish linguistics."—José Ignacio Hualde, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"An excellent, pedagogically-sound introduction to Spanish phonology from an optimality-theoretic perspective. The focus of the book is on phonological analysis of syllable structure and syllable-related phenomena in Spanish phonology. Each chapter builds on the preceding one in a logical progression. A particular strength of the book is that as issues are discussed, dialectal data showing variation is presented and analyzed. This book is not only for the student of Spanish phonology, but for anyone interested in phonology more generally."—Stuart Davis, professor and chair, Department of Linguistics, Indiana University

"This is an excellent book . . . [It] will be invaluable to students, scholars, and anyone seeking to understand the Spanish sound system from a state-of-the-art theoretical perspective."—Travis G. Bradley, University of California, Davis

"Offers an outstanding comprehensive monographic treatment of Spanish phonology from within current linguistic theory, the first in decades. It will be of great value to students, instructors, and researchers alike whose interests lie in Spanish, romance and general linguistics, as well as in optimality theory and variation and dialect studies."—D. Eric Holt, University of South Carolina

"A valiant, successful attempt to bring together into a cohesive account a number of syllable-driven phonological and morphophonological phenomena. The data are drawn from a range of diatopic variants, and the OT formalisation is usefully pitted against previous rule-and-derivation analyses."—Iggy Roca, University of Essex


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About the Author

Sonia Colina is an associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Arizona. She is coeditor of Optimality-Theoretic Studies in Spanish Phonology and author of Translation Teaching: From Research to the Classroom.

200 pp., 7 x 10
21 figures, 250 tables
May 2009

200 pp., 7 x 10
21 figures, 250 tables
ISBN: 978-1-58901-262-2
May 2009

200 pp.
21 figures, 250 tables
May 2009

Georgetown Studies in Spanish Linguistics series
John M. Lipski, Series Editor

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