Spanish is a Romance language spoken by approximately 405,638,110 speakers in the world (Lewis, Simons & Fenning 2013). Two major varieties are distinguished, Peninsular Spanish (Spain) and the Spanish spoken in the Americas, although it is also spoken natively in some parts of Africa, and in the United States. Spanish in the Americas comprises several dialects well differentiated by variations in the lexicon, phonology and, more importantly, in intonational patterns. In Mexico 86,211,000 (88% of the population) use Spanish as their first language, and a significant number of indigenous people have Spanish as their second language. The variety illustrated here is representative of the speech of the educated middle-class population from the metropolitan zone (three female and three male speakers in their 30s), which has as its center Mexico City, the most densely populated urban area in the country with more than 20 million people according to the Mexican National Census (INEGI 2010).
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