Andalusian Spanish

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The Andalusian varieties of Spanish (Spanish: andaluz, IPA: [andaˈluθ]; western pronunciation:IPA: [andaˈluh]). are spoken in Andalusia, Ceuta, Melilla and Gibraltar. They include perhaps the most distinct of the southern variants of peninsular Spanish, differing in many respects from northern varieties, and also from Standard Spanish. Due to the large population of Andalusia, the Andalusian dialect is the second most spoken dialect in Spain, after the transitional variants between Castilian and Andalusian (for example the one from Madrid).

Due to massive emigration from Andalusia to the Spanish colonies in the Americas and elsewhere, most American Spanish dialects share some fundamental characteristics with Western Andalusian Spanish, such as the use of ustedes instead of vosotros for the second person plural, and seseo. Many varieties of Spanish, such as Canarian Spanish, Caribbean Spanish and other Latin American Spanish dialects, including their standard dialects, are considered[by whom?] as being based on Andalusian Spanish.


Andalusian has a number of distinguishing phonological, morphological, syntactic and lexical features. However, not all of these are unique to Andalusian, nor are all of these features found in all areas where Andalusian is spoken, but in any one area, most of these features will be present.

Phonological features[edit]

Areas of Andalusia in which seseo (green), ceceo (red), or the distinction of c/z and s (white) predominate

In still other areas, the distinction is retained (distinción /distinˈθjon/). Ceceo predominates in more southerly parts of Andalusia, including the provinces of Cádiz, southern Huelva, most of Málaga and Seville (except the northern parts of both provinces and the city of Seville) and south-western Granada. A common stereotype about ceceo is that it is mostly found in backward rural areas, but the predominance of ceceo in major cities such as Málaga, Huelva and Granada (where, on the other hand one can also find distinción, depending on the neighbourhood) are enough proof to refute this.

Seseo predominates in Córdoba, northern Seville and Málaga and western Huelva. Interestingly, the cities of Seville and Cádiz are seseante, but entirely surrounded by ceceo areas; the city of Cádiz is the only area in the entire province of Cádiz, along with San Fernando (La Isla de León), that is not ceceante. Distinción is mostly found in the provinces of Almería, eastern Granada, Jaén, and the northern parts of Córdoba and Huelva. See map above for a detailed description of these zones. Outside Andalusia, seseo also existed in parts of Extremadura and Murcia up to at least 1940. The standard distinction which predominates in Eastern Andalusia is now to be heard in many cultivated speakers of the West, especially among younger speakers in urban areas or in monitored speech. The influence of media and school is now strong in Andalusia and this is eroding traditional seseo and ceceo.

As a result, these varieties have five vowel phonemes, each with a tense allophone (roughly the same as the normal realization in northern Spanish; [a], [e̞], [i], [o̞], [u]) and a lax allophone ([æ̞], [ɛ], [i̞], [ɔ], [u̞]). In addition to this, a process of vowel harmony may take place where tense vowels that precede a lax vowel may become lax themselves; e.g. trébol [ˈtɾe̞βo̞l] ('clover, club') vs tréboles [ˈtɾɛβɔlɛ] ('clovers, clubs').[1] S-aspiration is general in all of the southern half of Spain, and now becoming common in the northern half too.[citation needed]

Morphology and syntax[edit]


Many words of Mozarabic, Romani and Old Castilian origin occur in Andalusian which are not found in other dialects in Spain (but many of these may occur in South American and, especially, in Caribbean Spanish dialects due to the greater influence of Andalusian there). For example: chispenear instead of standard lloviznar or chispear ('to drizzle'), babucha instead of zapatilla ('slipper'), chavea or antié for anteayer ('the day before yesterday'). A few words of Andalusi Arabic origin that have become archaisms or unknown in general Spanish can be found, together with multitude of sayings: e.g. haciendo morisquetas (from the word morisco, meaning pulling faces and gesticulating, historically associated with Muslim prayers). These can be found in older texts of Andalusi. There are some doublets of Arabic-Latinate synonyms with the Arabic form being more common in Andalusian like Andalusian alcoba for standard habitación or dormitorio ('bedroom') or alhaja for standard joya ('jewel').


Some words pronounced in the Andalusian way have entered general Spanish with a specific meaning. Examples are juerga[2] ("debauchery", or "partying") that is the Andalusian pronunciation of huelga[3] (originally "period without work", now "work strike"). The Flamenco lexicon incorporates many Andalusisms: cantaor, tocaor, bailaor which is another example of the dropped "d", example "cantador" becomes "cantaor" (where the same non-Flamenco-specific terms are cantante, músico, bailarín). Note that, when referring to the Flamenco terms, the correct spelling drops the "d" (a Flamenco cantaor is written this way, not cantador). In another cases, the dropped "d" may also be included as a real word. An example occurs with "pescaíto frito" (little fried fish), which in Standard Spanish is spelled "pescadito frito". However, the word is written without the "d" in many parts of Spain, but only when referring to the Andalusian version (in Andalusia, fried fish is a very popular dish).

Llanito, the vernacular of the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, mainly originates from British English and Andalusian, among others.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]


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