Resyllabification Reconsidered: On the Durational Properties of Word-Final /s/ in Spanish
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Strycharczuk, P. & Kohlberger, M. (2016) Resyllabification Reconsidered: On the Durational Properties of Word-Final /s/ in Spanish, Laboratory Phonology: Journal of the Association for Laboratory Phonology, vol. 7, , pp. Jan-24,
Word-final consonants in Spanish are commonly assumed to undergo resyllabification across a word boundary before a following vowel, e.g., /los#otros/ 'the others' is realised as [lo.so.tros]. However, in many dialects of Spanish, word-final pre-vocalic consonants ('derived onsets') pattern phonologically with canonical codas and distinctly from canonical onsets. This property of derived onsets has been the subject of much interest in the phonological literature, and has led some linguists to question whether resyllabification indeed applies in all Spanish dialects. In this paper, we evaluate evidence for resyllabification based on acoustic data from 11 speakers of Peninsular Spanish. The results show that word-final pre-vocalic /s/ has increased duration compared to coda /s/, but at the same time, it is shorter compared to word-initial or word-medial pre-vocalic /s/. This result challenges an analysis where derived onsets become phonologically indistinguishable from canonical onsets. We consider an alternative in the form of partial resyllabification, and we further discuss the role of the syllable as a relevant unit in explaining /s/-sandhi in Spanish.