Analysis: descriptive data on sibilants in Jerezano Spanish

Traditionally, seseo does not form part of Jerezano Spanish, since it is presented as exclusively ceceante (Alvar et al. 1973: 1580). This classic description has been modified by the first sociolinguistic work on the speech community, in which Carbonero assures that 44% of the speakers are seseante and 47% ceceante (1992: 24). This conclusion has been repeated in the large monographs on Andalusian Spanish (Jimenez 1999: 33) as well as in several articles by Villena (2006, 2008). According to the latter, the data offered by Carbonero (1992), especially the increase of seseo by more educated speakers, underscore the possible extension of a Sevillian norm, which is mainly based on the use of seseo, within Jerezano Spanish. However, the most recent study on sibilants in Jerez shows that seseo does not seem to have penetrated the local speech community (Garcia-Amaya 2008: 65). This analysis emphasizes a high index of ceceo, but, at the same time, it indicates high numbers of standard Spanish distinction (Garcia-Amaya 2008). In the subsequent section, we will analyze data from a new project.

Actual data from an oral corpus: global visions

The present analysis is based on data from an oral corpus. One-hour interviews were conducted both informally and formally with 18 respondents that we knew personally and nine Jerezano speakers we did not know. In total, we conducted 27 interviews with Jerezano speakers, who differ in gender, age, and socio-cultural background (see Harjus 2018a: 101).

Realizations of ceceo are quite frequent in the corpus: more than two- thirds (72%) of the realizations of phoneme Isl are [0]. This analysis hints at a very striking increase in ceceo in the Jerez speech community with respect to the data of Carbonero, who find only 44% of ceceo realizations in his corpus (1992: 25). These results are close to those obtained by Garcia-Amaya, who shows 73% of ceceo realizations in his corpus (2008: 61). In total, 21 out of 27 respondents (78%) tend to ceceo five speakers differ in almost all the realizations (19%) and one respondent is not decisively ceceante (4%), in spite of performing many Isl as /0/. These data are strikingly different from those published by Carbonero (1992) and much higher compared to other urbanspeaking communities of western Andalusia. While at least a quarter of the speakers are ceceante in Malaga (Avila 1994) and Huelva (Heras 1996), only 6% are in the capital city Seville (Carbonero 1982).

The corpus only shows a few realizations of the phoneme /0/ like [s]: the Sevillian seseo still has not reached the speech community of Jerez, since only 3% of the realizations of the phoneme /0/ in the corpus are [s]. These data contradict those obtained by Carbonero (1992), but it comes close to the data offered by Alvar (1973), in which seseo is not mentioned for Jerezano Spanish, and agree with Garcia-Amaya’s assertion that the speech community is not seseante, since only 6.5% of the realizations of /0/ are [s] (2008: 63). In total, only one of the 27 speakers is distinctively seseante, a number that would be equivalent to 4%. So, the corpus contradicts the conclusions outlined by Carbonero (1992), who presents 44% of seseo in his corpus. In addition, seseo realizations by five more speakers have been found in the corpus, but in the great majority of their pronunciations the /0/ is produced as [0], so they are not seseantes. Apart from the speech community of Huelva with seseo numbers very similar to those of our corpus (Heras 1996), the data provided with regard to other cities in western Andalusia is completely different: 87% of the population in Seville (Carbonero 1982), 78% of the speakers in Cadiz (Payan 1988: 35), and 31% of the speakers in Malaga tend to use seseo (Avila 1994). As there are some sociolinguistic differences in our corpus as well, these will be addressed in the following section.

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