Noted the other day in the speech of a couple of elderly working class immigrants from Cádiz in the Poblenou district of Barcelona. Ceceo (the characteristic Andalusian lisp which assimilates /s/ and /Î¸/ to [Î¸]) has traditionally been considered socially inferior to seseo (assimilation to [s], associated particularly with Seville and New World dialects), as well as to standard peninsular usage, which maintains the distinction.
I asked them whether they used one or the other for particular purposes or in particular contexts, and they said that they did not, that it was just something they did. I have a feeling that it works on a similar basis to the swapping backwards and forwards between Catalan and Spanish I’ve heard among older harbour and other workers in the Barceloneta district. (Interestingly I don’t think it occurs as much among younger people.)
I like being able to explain this kind of thing in simple functional terms, so I must say that I find it completely extraordinary, but maybe I don’t get out enough. I hope it is documented somewhere else, although most of the linguists I know here studied medieval philology and little else before becoming shelf stackers. Given the disgust some of them have expressed for modern urban “Catalan” and “Spanish”, one wonders whether something quite interesting is being ignored in deference to political dogma.
- Linguistic self-hate
David Millán notes that while autoodiar appears in neither the Spanish nor the Catalan standard dictionaries, it forms part of the
- Buy your knives from Quttin, with thoughts on final /g/s and a poem by Ambrose Bierce
The latest pseudo-anglicism to cheer my bedraggled brain comes from a 20-year-old Albacete knife manufacturer. (See also camping, parking, lifting, shampooing,
- Another Andalusian joke
This one’s from an Eugenio tape from the early 1980s, although it also seems to be a standard Lepe joke. It
- What we really need: more language police
Here‘s the final piece of a series by Uruguayan proofreader Pilar Chargoñia calling for the creation in Argentina of a new
- Catalan and north-eastern Jaén speech
Iberian linguistics is even more complex than I had thought.