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Murcian Spanish

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 July 2015

Rafael Monroy
Faculty of Letters, University of Murcia,
Juan Manuel Hernández-Campoy
Faculty of Letters, University of Murcia,
E-mail address:


Murcian Spanish (MuSp) is a regional variety of Spanish spoken in the Comunidad Autónoma de Murcia in south-eastern Spain. It is commonly heard in the capital city, Murcia, with 450,000 inhabitants, situated in the Segura River plain (Central Zone), and in a number of towns like Cartagena (Coastal Zone), Yecla and Jumilla (Altiplano or High Plateau Zone), Lorca and Águilas (Guadalentín River Zone), and Caravaca and Calasparra (North-western Zone). The overall population of the region amounts to well over 1,100,000 inhabitants (Hernández-Campoy 2003: 621).

Illustrations of the IPA
Copyright © International Phonetic Association 2015 

Murcian Spanish (MuSp) is a regional variety of Spanish spoken in the Comunidad Autónoma de Murcia in south-eastern Spain. It is commonly heard in the capital city, Murcia, with 450,000 inhabitants, situated in the Segura River plain (Central Zone), and in a number of towns like Cartagena (Coastal Zone), Yecla and Jumilla (Altiplano or High Plateau Zone), Lorca and Águilas (Guadalentín River Zone), and Caravaca and Calasparra (North-western Zone). The overall population of the region amounts to well over 1,100,000 inhabitants (Hernández-Campoy Reference Hernández-Campoy2003: 621).

The speech described here is representative mainly of the city of Murcia. The transcription is based on samples from 25 Murcian speakers, ranging from 20 to 40 years of age, who have lived in this autonomous community most of their lives. The first of the two transcribed passages in the final section of this Illustration is an extract from an account provided by a 63-year-old Murcian peasant woman; the samples were produced by a man and a woman in their thirties. This type of speech is usually identified as a Murcian accent by speakers from other regions of Spain. It should be noted that, as is true of all systems, there is considerable phonetic variation within this accent depending on the speaker's provenance (Cartagena speech differs from Yecla speech, and the same applies to other Murcian towns), the educational background, and – to a lesser degree in this region – the speakers’ age and income level.


Phonetic peculiarities will be discussed below, while comparing them with similar realizations in Standard Spanish. As general articulatory patterns (see Table 1), MuSp consonants exhibit a different behaviour depending on their position within the word: prevocalic (onset) consonants are realized as in Standard Spanish (casa ‘house’, perro ‘dog’, mano ‘hand’), but postvocalic consonants in coda position undergo either regressive assimilation (canasta ‘basket’, digno ‘honorable/worth’, espera ‘wait’) tending to gemination when word-medial or deletion in word-final position (casas ‘houses’, carnet ‘card’, ciudad ‘city’), except nasals /m n/ (álbum ‘album’, camión ‘lorry’).

Table 1 Phonotactics of Spanish in word-final position (Monroy Reference Monroy1980: 60).

In the Murcian system, voiceless occlusives are realized as such word-initially (we prefer this name to ‘plosive’ since plosion is not a regular feature of these consonants in Spanish, see Navarro-Tomás Reference Navarro-Tomás1918:79). Only in learned terms may /p t k/ appear in mid position in clusters (e.g.aptitud ‘aptitude’, atmósfera ‘atmosphere’ and actual ‘current’), where they alternate in colloquial speech with a geminate showing complete assimilation to the following consonant ([a t -tiˈtuð], [æ m mɔffeɾa] and [æ t twæl], respectively). No voiceless occlusives occur in final position, even in words borrowed from other languages (see Hernández-Campoy & Trudgill Reference Hernández-Campoy and Trudgill2002), with preference for an open syllable (e.g. estóttɔ] ‘stop’, clúklu] ‘club’).

The voiced set alternates in Spanish between an occlusive realization after a pause or after a nasal (or in the case of /d/, after /l/), a fricative realization when any other consonant precedes or follows, and an approximant realization, used mostly when they are flanked by vowels, as shown in Table 2.

Table 2 Behaviour of occlusives, fricatives and approximants.

Opinions differ as to the phonemic status of the voiced palatal occlusive sound found in the fourth column of Table 2. While Navarro-Tomás (Reference Navarro-Tomás1918: 127), Quilis (Reference Quilis1985), Canellada & Madsen (Reference Canellada and Madsen1987: 119) and Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (Reference Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas and Carrera-Sabaté2003: 255) include a voiced affricate phoneme in their inventories for (Castilian) Spanish, others, like Quilis (Reference Quilis1985: 115), argue that the 〈y〉 grapheme in mayo ‘May’ and cónyuge ‘spouse’ stands for the two allophonic variants of a ‘voiced fricative’ /ǰ/, and Hualde (Reference Hualde2005: 165–166) claims that the ‘the most common realization in Standard Castilian is a voiced palatal weak fricative or approximant consonant [ʝ] (mayo [máʝo] “May”), except that the (affricated) stop [ɟ] occurs after a nasal or a lateral’. Indeed this is an issue that is closely linked to constraints like status and modality, not to mention singularity features (Crystal Reference Crystal1969: 76) as well as other stylistic dimensions, such as the speaker's geographical origin, his/her class dialect, etc. Our view (see Monroy Reference Monroy1980: 111–144), based on spectrographic and mingographic analyses carried out using five native speakers of Spanish from León, Madrid, Zaragoza, Huelva and Murcia, is that a voiced occlusive phoneme can be posited for Castilian Spanish. Its allophonic variants – occlusive [ɟ], fricative [ʝ] and the approximant [ ] – appear to be subject to the same set of restrictions as the other Spanish voiced occlusives. However, we did not find in the speech of our informants any instance of a voiceless palatal occlusive in words like muchacho ‘boy’, Camacho, etc. as proposed by Sempere-Martínez (Reference Sempere-Martínez1995: 28). In MuSp, voiced occlusives follow the pattern of the voiceless set: they assimilate to the following consonant, producing a geminate sequence of the two segments (e.g. adquirir k -kiˈɾiɾ] ‘acquire’, absurdo [assuɾðo] ‘absurd’, etc.), neutralizing minimal pairs such as:

It is in terms of the phonetic realization in checked position that differences between Murcian and the standard variety are most noticeable, particularly in the case of postvocalic /s/. The assimilatory character of checked /s/ is so powerful in Spanish that there is a great divide between [s] and [s]-less varieties (Castilian vs. Southern Spain accents as well as many South American accents). As a member of the [s]-less group, MuSp is peculiar in the way /s/ in coda position (marked by + below) assimilates to the neighbouring consonant. Thus, if a stop follows, it will take its value as in:

And there are some minimal pairs whose only difference is regressive consonant assimilation:

Note that voiced occlusives do not spirantize after /s/, as is the case in Castilian Spanish. Thus, unlike the standard variety, where /b d g/ become fricatives after a sibilant (e.g. [lo ˈβasos] vasos ‘the glasses’), Murcian favours an occlusive realization in cases where occlusives and nasals intervene (Cutillas-Espinosa Reference Cutillas-Espinosa, de la Cruz, Santamaría, Tejedor and Valero2001: 689), e.g. [ɛppɛɾa] espera ‘wait’, [ɛttæ æ] estabas ‘you were’, [lɔd ˈdɛ ɔ] los dedos ‘the fingers’, [læ gɔmæ] las gomas ‘the rubbers’, [læ mænɔ] las manos ‘the hands’, [lɔ nɛnɛ] los nenes ‘the kids’, [læ ɲɔɾæ] las ñoras ‘small round peppers typical of Murcia’. In this way, consonant duplication fulfils both a lexical function, helping to distinguish otherwise minimal pairs (pescado [pɛkˈkæ(ð)ɔ] ‘fish’ vs. pecado [pɛˈkæ( )ɔ] ‘sin’), and a grammatical function as in estás cansadotˈtækkænˈsæ( )ɔ] ‘you are tired’ vs. está cansadotˈtækænsæ( )ɔ] ‘he is tired’. Fricative realizations may also be heard alternating with [d], e.g. [lɔð ˈðɛ ɔ] (we agree with Navarro (Reference Navarro-Tomás1918) that intervocalic Spanish fricative [ð] is marginally interdental and less tense than English /ð/). Spirantization, however, is systematic when /s/ is replaced by [ɾ], a phenomenon restricted socially to a working-class, older-generation, rural type of speech, e.g. [lɔɾ ˈðɛ ɔ] los dedos ‘the fingers’, [lɔ βæsɔ] los vasos ‘the glasses’, [læ ɣɔmæ] las gomas ‘the rubbers’. This substitution of [s] by [ɾ] occurs before nasals as well: /n/ in particular (e.g. [lɔ nɛnɛ] los nenes ‘the kids’), but not exclusively (e.g. [læ mænɔ] las manos ‘the hands’, [læ ɲɔɾæ] las ñoras ‘the peppers’). In general, the replacement of /s/ by [ɾ] is disapproved of by the local population, who judge it to be typical of a very marked local accent.

The voiced palatal occlusive /ɟ/ shows a pattern of behaviour identical to the rest of the voiced plosive group, as pointed out above: any preceding /s/ assimilates progressively to the value of the occlusive (e.g. [læ ɟemæ] las yemas ‘the yolks’), a pattern not found in standard Castilian. The occlusive extends even to instances with /ʎ/ if pronounced [ɟ/ʝ], as is the case of speakers with a yeísta pronunciation (i.e. those who make no distinction in Spanish between /ʎ/ and /ɟ/, e.g. [se kaˈ o] for both se calló ‘(s)he kept silent’ and se cayó ‘(s)he fell down’; conlleva [koɲˈɟe a] ‘involves, implies’, [koɲ ˈɟema] con yema ‘with yoke’, both with [ɟ] or, alternatively, [ʤ].

Although frowned upon by speakers using a more refined variety, the replacement of /l/ by /ɾ/ in coda position is another distinguishing characteristic of Murcian speech, also found in other Southern Spanish accents (Andalusian, Canario and Extremeño according to García-Mouton Reference García-Mouton1994: 35). As a result, pronunciations like [ˈaɾɣo] for [ˈalɣo] algo ‘something’ and [ˈaɾto] for [ˈalto] alto ‘high/tall’ are very commonly heard, yielding instances of homophony (e.g. alto/hartoaɾto] ‘tall’/‘fed up’, caldo/cardokaɾðo] ‘soup’/‘thistle’, falda/fardafaɾða] ‘skirt’/‘(s)he boasts’).

Linked to this is the specific behaviour of syllable coda /ɾ/ followed by syllable onset /l/ acting as codas and heads of a syllable. One of the most noticeable characteristics of Murcian is the full assimilation of /ɾ/ to /l/, so that words like Carlos ‘Charles’, peinarla ‘to comb her’, decir le ‘to tell him/her’, por la calle ‘along the street’, etc. are pronounced with double [l], e.g. [ˈkæl-lɔ], [peiˈnal-la], [dɛˈθil-le], [pɔl-la ˈkaʝe], respectively. Gemination can then be a regular feature of MuSp. The opposite phenomenon – the replacement of /l/ by /ɾ/ – is also common in colloquial Murcian, e.g. está en el río […ɛɾ-ˈrío] ‘in the river, alrededor [æɾ-rɛ ɛˈ ɔ] ‘around’, el ramo […ɛɾ-ˈramo] ‘the branch’. This may happen not only in cases where /ɾ/ follows: /l/ may become /ɾ/ in front of any single consonant with the exception of /ɾ/ itself, so it is not uncommon to hear expressions like [ɛɾ ˈsɔ] el sol ‘the sun’, [ɛɾ ˈθumo] el zumo ‘the juice’, [ɛɾ ˈkæmpo] el campo ‘the country’, [ɛɾ ˈ je to] el viento ‘the wind’, [ɛɾ ˈʧiko] el chico ‘the boy’, etc.

Finally, one of the most peculiar features of Murcian speech is the systematic consonantal loss in word-final position, as in pub ‘pub’, coñac ‘cognac’, ciudad ‘city’, zig-zag ‘zig-zag’, reloj ‘watch’, mal ‘wrong’/‘bad’, álbum ‘album’, examen ‘exam’, stop ‘stop’, mar ‘sea’, lunes ‘Monday’, habitat ‘habitat’, tórax ‘thorax’, pez ‘fish’.

Unlike standard Castilian, where /n/, /s/, /l/, /r/, /θ/and /d/ are all consonants that can occupy final position in a word, Murcian reduces this choice drastically, [ŋ] being the only surviving element, as in álbum ‘album’ /ˈal uŋ/ or camión ‘lorry’ /kaˈmjoŋ/) (Hernández-Campoy & Trudgill Reference Hernández-Campoy and Trudgill2002: 38). All the other consonants are dropped, producing vowel opening in the preceding mid or low vowels, e.g. [lɔ ˈɔxɔ] los ojos ‘the eyes’, [læ ˈælæ] las alas ‘the wings’, [birˈtu] virtud ‘virtue’, [perˈði] perdiz ‘partridge’, [kɔˈræ] corral ‘farmyard’, [kæˈlɔ] calor ‘heat’, and yielding minimal pairs based on vowel quality, such as:

Note that this behaviour contravenes one of the fundamental phonological rules operating in Castilian Spanish, whereby any single consonant flanked by vowels syllabifies with the following vowel (e.g. los ojos /lo-so-xos/ ‘the eyes’). Murcian, by contrast, keeps syllable nuclei as if there were no consonant in between (e.g. [lɔ-ˈɔ-xɔ] ‘the eyes’, [læ-ˈæ- æ] las habas ‘the broad beans’) and again, in contrast with what happens in standard Castilian, where two or three identical vowels can be drastically reduced to the value of a single one with no semantic effect (e.g. iba a Alicante = ib-A-licante ‘(s)he was going to Alicante’), Murcian does not allow vowel fusion in instances where /s/ is dropped, so that a case like our previous example, [læ-ˈæ- æ] las habas ‘the broad beans’, would never be pronounced as [ˈlæ- æ] lavas ‘you wash’.



The system of vowel contrasts is fairly homogeneous across Murcian speakers and is markedly different from Castilian Spanish. There is a richer set of monophthongs due to the splitting of Castilian mid and low phonemes into three further allophonic variants – [ɛ], [æ] and [ɔ] – to make up for the loss of /s/ in checked position, and of any other consonants (except nasals /m/ and /n/), as the vowel chart and Figure 1 show. As stated in Hernández-Campoy & Trudgill (Reference Hernández-Campoy and Trudgill2002: 32), diachronically speaking, the loss of consonants had dramatic consequences for the Murcian vowel system, leading to the phonologization of originally allophonic differences and the development of an eight-vowel system: historical word-final /eC oC aC/ have become /ε ɔ æ/, and the same vocalic developments have occurred word-internally in the case of vowels before assimilated consonants. This phonologization had the consequence that some nominal and verbal forms which had earlier been distinguished by the presence or absence of /s/ were now distinguished by vocalic differences. This is true for noun phrases, where /s/ is the plural marker on articles, adjectives and nouns:

and it is equally true of verb forms, where word final /s/ is heavily involved in person-marking:

Simple Past Tense

The disambiguation of number and person marking in MuSp is thus solved with changes in vowel quality.

Figure 1 Murcian vowel formant average values of two male speakers (our data). In capitals, Standard Spanish vowels; average frequencies of five male speakers. Data from Martínez Celdrán & Fernández Planas (2007: 175).

This, incidentally, parallels a similar phenomenon found in Eastern Andalusian, which also has an eight-vowel system, the only difference being that, in the latter, /s/ is regularly replaced by an aspirated voiced velar [h] (Zamora-Vicente Reference Zamora-Vicente1960: 290), a feature occasionally found in some Murcian areas bordering on the Andalusian region. The split can best be seen in examples like the following:

It is obvious that the distinction between the close and the open varieties is linked to the presence or absence of /s/, acting as a marker of person (tiene ‘he/she has’ – tienes ‘you have’), number (otro ‘another’ – otros ‘others’), or simply as a syllabic coda; this brings about consonantal duplication word-internally (e.g. aspirar ‘to breather in’/‘to suck’). Furthermore, consonants other than /s/ (i.e. the ones phonotactically allowed in final position in a word in Spanish, with the exception of nasals), produce vowel opening, too, as a result of their systematic loss in this position, as mentioned above. Our examples also reveal another characteristic pointed out by Hernández-Campoy & Trudgill (Reference Hernández-Campoy and Trudgill2002: 39), namely that there is metaphony or vowel harmony in MuSp. Lapesa (Reference Lapesa1968) mentions that the same phenomenon takes place in the speech of Granada, Almería, and in the town of Cabra (Córdoba). Arguably, this is triggered by the absence of an /s/ signalling plurality or person.

Diphthongs and triphthongs

Murcian has a set of diphthongs that differ from their Castilian equivalents in various ways, as the vowel chart and Figure 2 show.

Figure 2 Murcian diphthongs (white squares: data from Monroy Reference Monroy2008). Spanish vowels (black squares: data from Martínez Celdrán & Fernández Planas Reference Martínez-Celdrán and Fernández-Planas2007). Words indicate the beginning and direction of the diphthong.

As in the case of monophthongs, their behaviour is closely linked to the presence/non-presence of /s/. Thus, we have the following as falling diphthongs,

and the following as rising diphthongs:

There are cases where this phonetic variability has clear semantic implications, as in the dioDios, piepies examples. This opening of mid and low vowels is a departure from the exquisita limpidez [exquisite purity], which characterizes Castilian (Zamora-Vicente Reference Zamora-Vicente1960: 290), and it is probably one of the reasons for the mixed feelings ‘murcianos’ have towards their own accent (Hernández-Campoy Reference Hernández-Campoy2003: 624; 2008: 124–125). Other peculiarities, like the monophthongization of /ue/ to [ɔ], as in pues [pɔ] (e.g. pues díselo [pɔˈdiselo] ‘well, tell him/her’), heard in very colloquial Murcian, the occasional hiatic rendering of the diphthong /oi/ (e.g. boina [boi-na] ‘beret’), or instances of vowel assimilation ( sinalefas ) like [lokæˈ æmɔ] for lo que hagamos ‘what we may do’ are not unique to MuSp: they are also found in other southern Spanish accents (Salvador Reference Salvador1987).

Unlike the diphthongs, Murcian triphthongs coincide with the set of triphthongs found in Castilian (see Figure 2). They differ though in the phonetic realization of the nuclear elements: in line with the diphthongs, Murcian favours an open realization of the mid (and also of the final) vowels as a result of the loss of a checked /s/ (e.g. estudiáis [jæi] ‘you can study’ – estudiéis [jɛi] ‘you might study’, averigüáis [wæi] ‘you can find out’ – averigüéis [wɛi] ‘you might find out’. No reduction occurs in any of these nuclear elements.

Lexical stress

The lexical stress system of Murcian is essentially that of Castilian Spanish. It is both phonologically contrastive, in the sense that the meaning of a word can change as a function of the syllable being stressed (e.g. cántaraka taɾa] ‘large pitcher’, cantara [ka ˈtaɾa] ‘(s)he would sing’, cantará [ka taˈɾa] ‘(s)he will sing’), and, although subject to certain constraints, free. Thus, words can be oxytones (with stress falling on the last syllable as in circunvalacióniɾkuɱbalaˈθjon] ‘ring road’), paroxytones (with stress on the last syllable but one, e.g. sorprendente [soɾpɾe ˈde te] ‘surprising’) and proparoxitones (with stress falling on the last syllable but two, e.g. contrólalo [ko ˈtrolalo] ‘keep an eye on it’). Like in Standard Spanish, the difference between stressed and unstressed vowels is very small duration-wise (Monroy Reference Monroy1980: 55–57) and, unlike in English, stress has little effect on vowel quality. In fact, consonantal reduplication and metaphony make unstressed nuclei in MuSp resistant to vowel weakening (e.g. estabasttæ- æ] ‘you were’).


Overall, Murcian rhythmical patterning conforms basically to the syllable-timed rhythm standard with which Castilian has traditionally been credited (Roach Reference Roach1982:75). However, there are instances in Murcian where stressed syllables are specially prominent, producing a perceptual staccato effect. This occurs whenever consonants functioning as heads of a stressed syllable geminate due to regressive assimilation (e.g. nos dieron estos esquemas [nɔddjeɾon ˈɛt-tɔɛkkɛmæ] ‘they gave us these outlines’). This phenomenon is not to be equated with the syllabic clipping characteristic of some northern accents (the Basque country, Navarre and part of Logroño). Murcian, on the other hand, follows other southern regional varieties in the way unstressed word-final syllables are suppressed in some words (e.g. se pegó una panzá (for panzada) [se peˈɣ una pa ˈθa] ‘(s)he stuffed him/herself’, le dio una bofetá (for bofetada) [le ˈ j unabofeˈta] ‘(s)he slapped her/him round the face’, puen (for pueden) [ˈpwen] ‘they can’). Other phonological processes responsible for rhythmicity, like /d/- deletion in words ending in -ado, -ido, -odo (e.g. cansao (for cansado) [kanˈsao] ‘tired’, salío (for salido) [saˈlio] ‘(s)he is gone out’, tootoo] (for todo) ‘all’), apocope in word-final position (e.g. mumu] (for muy) ‘very’), the use of a rising diphthong instead of a falling one in certain expressions (e.g. [ˈb ˈθɛ] for voy a hacer ‘I am going to do/make’), and levelling of [ue] to [o] in the case of the conjunction pues [pɔ], although common in MuSp, are also heard frequently in the colloquial/informal register of other Spanish regional varieties.


Although the stress and rhythm of MuSp are essentially the same as in Castilian, the intonation shows some differences. In general, colloquial Murcian favours a narrow range of tones, to the extent that it may be considered one of the ‘flattest’ varieties among the Spanish accents, and one that may leave other native speakers, particularly South Americans, with an occasional impression of indecisiveness. High-fall and high-rise tones are not very common; they occur with yes/no questions and exclamations showing a dissenting, reluctant or very emotionally involved attitude on the part of the speaker. In contrast, level tones in different keys pervade most speech interactions, alternating with narrow low-rises and low-fall nuclei at the end of a turn. Such is the case of expressions with a marked referential function (see Monroy Reference Monroy2002: 84–86 for a full discussion). Attitudinal import can be intonationally conveyed by the conjunction of narrow high falling heads. Murcians tend to be reluctant to produce either high or low sustained heads and to use a broad tonal range to convey the illocutionary force of the message (disagreement, connivance, doubt, etc.). Tench's suasive function (Tench Reference Tench1996: 98) is usually achieved by a combination of high or mid-high falling heads followed by a low-level tone, the result being that the former are perceived as having greater prominence than their corresponding nuclei. As in Castilian Spanish, questions in Murcian hinge on two basic patterns: wh- and yes/no questions. The former favour low-level tones preceded by high falling heads, whereas in the latter, mid-level tones alternate allotonically with mid-rise. An identical pattern occurs in indirect speech, where the main verb is usually dropped; in this case, the pattern of the resulting sentence and that of a simple wh-question look intonationally alike. Thus, an utterance like [ˈdo d tˈtakoˈreɔ?] ¿Dónde está Correos? ‘Where is the Post Office?’ (see Figure 3), meaning ‘You want to know where the Post Office is?’, made in reply to a stranger who is actually asking for the Police Station, is pronounced in Murcian with a mid-low or low-level nucleus instead of with a rise, typical of indirect questions in Castilian Spanish (i.e. ¿Sabe(s) Dónde está Correos? ‘Do you know where the Post Office is?’). Together with the tendency to favour level nuclei and narrow-range tones, this mid- or low-level nucleus with yes/no questions as in [ˈab ˈbitt a mjerˈmano?] ¿Has visto a mi hermano? ‘Have you seen my brother?’ (see Figure 4) is a feature not so common in other varieties of Spanish. In fact, is one of the most striking characteristics of Murcian speech at a suprasegmental level.

Figure 3 f0 tracings of ¿DóndeestáCorreos? ‘You want to know where the Post Office is?’.

Figure 4 f0 tracing of ¿Has visto a mi hermano? ‘Have you seen my brother?’.


This section includes transcriptions of two passages. The standard ‘The North Wind and the Sun’ is preceded here by a narrative by a 63-year-old Murcian peasant woman.

Recuerdos de niñez ‘Childhood memories’

ǁ me kɾiˈe en un ˈepoka ˈmu maˈlika | ˈmu ˈmala ǁ ɛtˈtæ un ˈsitjo sɔˈsjæ | i pake me ˈ jeɾa de kɔˈmɛ | pɔ m o liˈ aɾon a ˈiɾ a ˈmisa | si ˈno no me ˈ a an de ˈkɔˈmɛ ǁ lɔffalaŋˈxittæ no me ˈ a a de ˈkɔˈmɛ si ˈno ˈi a ˈmisa ǁ pɔˈfwi a ˈmisa ǀ nseˈɲaron a reˈsæ ǀ ntons a mi pɾiˈmeɾa komuˈnjon ǁ komo me ˈ jeɾon um beˈliko ǀ n apaɾ aˈtik ǀ m bettiˈ ik ǀ i e kɔˈmɛ ǁ pɔˈale ǁ al ˈotɾ ˈaɲo siˈ je te ǀ otɾaˈ ɛ ˈise la komuˈnjon ǁ i eˈsia la seɲoˈɾita | ˈoi ˈke ˈniɲa ˈmæl ˈlitta ǀke ˈsa e lɔm ma daˈmje tɔ e la ˈlei e ˈ jɔǀ ˈtɔːlɔ ˈsa tta ˈniɲa ǁ ˈoike ˈniɲa ˈmæl ˈlitta ǁ pɔˈklaro ǀ ˈotɾ ˈaɲo ǀ otɾaˈ ɛ ǁ ˈna a ǁ aˈsi ˈsɛi ˈ ɛsɛ k ˈise la komuˈnjon ǁ ɾ ˈuɾtim aɲo me j ˈkuɾ ˈuna ofeˈtæ ke me tiˈɾo ko tɾ um mobaŋˈkiko ǁ i le ˈ ixe pɔk ˈkɛ ǁ i me ˈ ixo pokke ˈtæ tæk komuˈnjɔnɛ ˈno se ˈpwe ˈsɛ ǁ

Recuerdos de niñez: Orthographic version (Standard Spanish)

Me crié en una época muy malica, muy mala. Estaba en un sitio social. Y para que me dieran de comer, pues me obligaron a ir a misa; si no, no me daban de comer. Los falangistas no me daban de comer si no iba a misa. Pues fui a misa; me enseñaron a rezar, y entonces, a mi primera comunión. Como me dieron un velico y un apargatico [unas alpargatas] y un vestidico y…y de comer, pues ¡hale! Al otro año siguiente, otra vez hice la comunión. Y decía la señorita: ¡Oy que niña más lista que sabe los Mandamientos de la Ley de Dios! ¡Todo lo sabe esta niña! ¡Oy que niña más lista! Pues claro, otro año, otra vez. Nada, así seis veces hice la comunión. Y el último año me dio el cura una bofetada que me tiró contra un banquico. Y le dije ‘¿Por qué?’ Y me dijo: ‘Porque tantas comuniones no se pueden hacer’.

El viento norte y el sol ‘The North Wind and the Sun’

Murcian Spanish version read out by Consuelo Gil-Moreno, aged 28.

ǁ el ˈ je to ˈnoɾte ɾ ˈsɔ ǀ poɾˈfja an so ɾe ˈkwal de ˈɛ ɔ ˈeɾa l ˈmæf ˈfweɾte ǀ kwa d aθeɾˈt a paˈsæ ˈum bjaˈxeɾ emˈbwe t en ˈaņtʃa ˈkapa ǁ kombiˈnjeɾon eŋ ke kjɛn ˈæ tɛl loˈ ɾaɾ obliˈ æ al jaˈxeɾ a kitˈtasse la ˈkapa ǀ seˈɾia konsi eˈɾ o ˈmæp podeˈɾoso ǁ el ˈ je to ˈnoɾte soˈplo koŋ ˈgɾaɱ ˈfuɾja ǀ peɾo kwa to ˈmæ soˈpla a ǀ ˈmæ s are uˈxa en su ˈkapa el jaˈxeɾo ǁ poɾ ˈfin ǀ el ˈ je to ˈnoɾte a a doˈno la mˈpɾesa ǁ e ˈto θɛ ǀ briˈ o eɾ ˈsɔ kon aɾˈðɔ ǀ e immedjˈatame te ǀ se deppoˈxo de su ˈkap el jaˈxeɾo ǁ pol lo kel ˈβje to ˈnoɾt ˈu o e rekonoˈθɛ la supeɾjoriˈ æ eɾ ˈsɔ ǁ

El viento norte y el sol: Orthographic version (Standard Spanish)

El viento norte y el sol porfiaban sobre cuál de ellos era el más fuerte, cuando acertó a pasar un viajero envuelto en ancha capa. Convinieron en que quien antes lograra obligar al viajero a quitarse la capa sería considerado más poderoso. El viento norte sopló con gran furia, pero cuanto más soplaba, más se arrebujaba en su capa el viajero; por fin el viento norte abandonó la empresa. Entonces brilló el sol con ardor, e inmediatamente se despojó de su capa el viajero, por lo que el viento norte hubo de reconocer la superioridad del sol.


We are grateful to David Britain, Juan Antonio Cutillas-Espinosa, Francisco Ariza, José Luis Ramón and José María Jiménez-Cano for their comments and suggestions. Our thanks also go to Consuelo Gil for her availability and patience with the recordings. Our special thanks to Anttii Ivonen for his invaluable help with the acoustics of some of the recordings. Finally, we express our deep gratitude to the two anonymous reviewers for their meticulous, constructive and thought-provoking criticism.


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