Torreira, F. (2012). Investigating the nature of aspirated stops in Western Andalusian Spanish. Journal of the International Phonetic Association,42, 49-63. doi:10.1017/S0025100311000491.
In Western Andalusian Spanish (WAS), [h + voiceless stop] clusters are realized as long
pre- and postaspirated stops. This study investigates if a new class of stops (realized as
geminates with variable degrees of pre- and postaspiration) has emerged in this dialect,
or if postaspiration in these clusters results from articulatory overlap. An experiment was
carried out in which WAS speakers produced [h + voiceless stop] clusters under changes
in speech rate and stress location. The duration of postaspiration, measured as voice onset,
did not show systematic effects of any of the experimental variables. Moreover, trade-offs
were observed between voice onset and preaspiration plus closure durations. These results
indicate that postaspiration in WAS [h + voiceless stop] clusters is the consequence of
extensive articulatory overlap. It is further hypothesized that the lengthening of closures in
WAS stops preceded by [h] results from a different gestural mechanism affecting all [hC]
clusters in this dialect. From a broader perspective, since extensive overlap and consonantal
lengthening do not occur in the [hC] clusters of other Spanish varieties, these findings lend
support to the idea that intergestural coordination patterns can be dialect-specific.