Speech rhythm and vowel raising in Bulgarian Judeo-Spanish

Christoph Gabriel, Elena Kireva


The study investigates selected prosodic characteristics of (Sofian) Bulgarian Judeo-Spanish, a diaspora variety of Spanish spoken by descendants of the Jews expelled from Spain, all of them bilingual speakers with Bulgarian as their dominant language. While exhibiting some few relics from Old Spanish on the segmental level, Judeo-Spanish shows a puzzling similarity with Bulgarian with respect to speech rhythm and vowel raising. It is shown that the two languages spoken by the bilinguals, Bulgarian and Judeo- Spanish, pattern alike in displaying almost the same rhythmic values (except for %V) and that raising of unstressed /a/ and /o/ as is typical of the variety of Bulgarian spoken in Sofia also regularly occurs in the Judeo-Spanish data. Our findings show that Judeo-Spanish is crucially influenced by Bulgarian, thus suggesting that it has largely converged toward the surrounding language on the phonological level.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-133

Cite as: Gabriel, C., Kireva, E. (2014) Speech rhythm and vowel raising in Bulgarian Judeo-Spanish. Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014, 728-732, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-133.


@inproceedings{Gabriel2014,
  author={Christoph Gabriel and Elena Kireva},
  title={{Speech rhythm and vowel raising in Bulgarian Judeo-Spanish}},
  year=2014,
  booktitle={Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014},
  pages={728--732},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-133},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-133}
}