Master of Arts (MA)


Foreign Languages and Literatures

Document Type



Vowels occurring adjacently across word boundaries form what is known as hiatus. In orthographic pronunciation, hiatus is defined by the brief pause between the two vowels as in yo – estoy and la – economía, where ‘-‘ represents a pause. However, since speakers of Spanish (or any other natural language) do not always pronounce orthographically when engaging in colloquial speech, the hiatus undergoes a variety of changes in order to accommodate certain phonological constraints. These changes are referred to as hiatus resolution and include vowel weakening, glide formation and vowel elision. As reported by the numerous studies of Spanish dialectology throughout the world, each dialect displays specific preferences for specific types of hiatus resolution. However, many of these investigations do not analyze the issue from a sociolinguistic viewpoint. The aim of this study is to discover what types of hiatus resolution are present in Mexico City Spanish and what effect the variables of age and gender have on their usage. In order to engage in this process, the language of 18 participants from Mexico City was recorded and analyzed for hiatus resolution. The results were then quantified and organized into gender and age group.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Arnulfo Ramírez