Rhotics of Taos, New Mexico Spanish: Variation and Change
2018, Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, Issue 1, Pg. 215-264, Volume 11,
Although some researchers report the normative production of the rhotics in Traditional New Mexico Spanish, others have reported variability, including the presence of an English-like vocalized rhotic. In the present study, 29 speakers of Spanish from Taos, a city in northern New Mexico, were interviewed and the rhotics of their speech were categorized, quantified and analyzed using speech analysis and multivariate statistical analysis software. The results show variation and change when compared to previous reports (both recent and of over a century ago). In spontaneous and elicited speech, ten distinct rhotic variants, subsequently recoded into five categories, were observed and quantified. Moreover, approximant and assibilated variants have notable frequencies and conditioning factors. VARBRUL analyses reveal phonological context, stress, word position, age, and sex as significant conditioning factors.