DIG 10 (2002). 31-39 Bertha Chela-Flores and Godsuno Chela-Flores Spanish dialectology has traditionally tended to be dichotomic: Peninsular versus American, conservative versus radical, lowland versus highland, etc. In other words, many dialectal taxonomies have been over simplistic. New insights from linguistic theory as well as richer data, particularly from the American varieties, have led to a more complex approach to this problem. This paper will deal with the 'conservative' versus 'radical' dichotomy in the light of recent studies on Venezuelan Spanish (cf. Obediente 1998a, 1998b; Villamizar 1998; G. Chela-Flores 1998a, 1998b), which shed a different light on this dialectal division backed by previous work (see, for instance, Fernandez Sevilla 1980: 457; Rosenblat 1984: 227; Monies Giraldo 1982: 124, 1996: 135). The bipartition 'conservative' versus 'radical' is closely linked to geography because the American Spanish-speaking highlands have conservative phonological characteristics -- mainly strong postvocalic consonants - while the lowlands tend towards the opposite, namely weak codas. It is relevant to point out, however, that the basis of this dichotomic approach is the orthography-phonology correspondence - or lack of it - and that only the postvocalic graphemes and phonemes are taken into account. Thus, the terms 'conservative' and 'radical' (see
Dialectologia et Geolinguistica – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 2002
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