Conditions on front mid-vowel gliding in Spanish

Laura Colantoni, José Ignacio Hualde

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This contribution deepens our understanding of the conditions favoring mid-vowel gliding in Mexican and Argentine Spanish. Whereas this process has been widely reported, the fact that there are clear differences among words with the same phonological sequence in their tendency to undergo gliding has been largely overlooked. We report on the results of a test of syllabification intuitions administered to Argentine and Mexican speakers. Four conditions were hypothesized: (1) Minimality: gliding is dispreferred when the result is a monosyllabic word; (2) Stress: the possibility of gliding increases with distance to stress; (3) Onset: gliding is dispreferred when the first vowel in the sequence is preceded by a palatal consonant or a cluster; and (4) gliding is dispreferred in second conjugation verbs. Hypotheses (1) and (4) are generally supported by the data, while (2) and (3) receive mixed support. Overall, there are also higher rates of mid-vowel gliding reported in Mexican than in Argentine Spanish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Syllable and Stress
Subtitle of host publicationStudies in Honor of James W. Harris
PublisherDe Gruyter
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781614515975
ISBN (Print)9781501500497
StatePublished - Mar 21 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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