The Andalusians, the “andaluses,” and “andalucez:” A study of the seseo/ceceo in Cadiz

Figura 2: El seseo, el ceceo, y la distinción en Andalucía
Recurso: Wikimedia Commons

The Andalusians, the “andaluses,” and “andalucez:” A study of the seseo/ceceo in Cadiz

by Curt Commander

Six interviews with local residents of Cádiz were conducted that recorded the participants’ opinions surrounding certain linguistic features present in Cádiz, namely seseo, ceceo, and distinción. The participants’ preferences for these features in regards to their own pronunciation were also measured through the recording of a short story read aloud by the participant with the particular story used eliciting the linguistic phenomena under study. Results suggested a correlation between higher education levels and a tendency to use distinción rather than seseo or ceceo. The participants’ opinions concerning seseo, ceceo, and distinción agreed in some areas but significantly differed in others.
Both the lack of agreement in many areas among those who were interviewed and the correlation between higher education levels and the use of distinción provide evidence of the strong linguistic variation within Andalucía that differs based on geography, education level, and personal opinion. So much variation within this region of Spain poses a problem for corporate and governmental entities that concern themselves with the entirety of Andalucía, having to choose which Andalusian dialect to use when addressing their linguistically-varied audience. Instead of singling out a specific Andalusian accent to use, various regionally-focused groups, such as Canal Sur, the news channel for Andalucía, have chosen to default to an accent from Madrid. Such actions are caused by unreconciled linguistic differences within the region and reveal the need for the adoption or creation of a collective, common accent for public use in Andalucía.