Importancia económica de las características fonéticas del idioma español y sus variedades regionales
This paper tries to quantify economically the importance of five phonetic haracteristics (seseo, yeismo, /s/-aspiration, rehilamiento, and /x/-aspiration) whose presence or absence allows to distinguish among ten regional varieties of Spanish. To do that we perform an analysis of the extension of those characteristics and we estimate which of them correspond to the “average speaker” of Spanish, which end up being identical to the ones of the so-called “modern Andean Spanish”. Through estimations of per capita income, however, we find that the characteristic associated with a higher income level is the absence of seseo, typical of the Northern Peninsular Spanish. Finally, through a statistical regression analysis, we find that such characteristic is associated with an average annual per capita income which is US$ 24,500 higher than the one of Spanish speakers that possess seseo. We also find that the only additional characteristic that is statistically significant as a signal of a higher income is rehilamiento, which is associated with an average annual per capita income that is US$ 4,500 higher than the one of speakers that do not possess that characteristic.
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