Document Type


Publication Date



In former Spanish Morocco, many educated speakers are able to draw upon various phonological systems such as French, Moroccan Arabic, and Modern Standard Arabic in order to pronounce Spanish sounds. However, although the speakers of this study are highly proficient in Spanish, there are still some segmental features that set them apart from a native Spanish speaker. These features include the failure to produce the fricative allophones of bilabial, dental, and velar stops the failure to distinguish between the simple and multiple vibrant trill, and difficulties in producing the palatal nasal. While the Spanish of these Northern Moroccans seems to vary from standard Peninsular Spanish, their Spanish also tends to vary among themselves as well as within the speech of the individual speakers. Data for this paper was drawn from sociolinguistic interviews carried out in Tangier with speakers of Spanish. Results show that, on the whole, three factors determine the different levels of phonetic variation present in the case of educated Northern Moroccans who acquire Spanish without formal instruction: their knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic and French, their intense exposure to Spanish television, and their awareness of the sociolinguistic markers active in the Peninsula and exhibited through mass media.


Publisher Acknowledgment:

This is the Publisher’s PDF of the following article made available by Cascadilla Proceedings Project © 2005: Scipione, Ruth and Lotfi Sayahi. 2005. Consonantal Variation of Spanish in Northern Morocco. In Sayahi, L., and M. Westmoreland (eds.), Selected Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. 127–132.

Available at the Cascadilla Proceedings Project website:



Terms of Use

This article is made available under the Scholars Archive Terms of Use.