Published In

Revista de Estudios Hispánicos

Document Type


Publication Date



Historical linguistics, Phonetics -- Research, Spanish language -- History


This article is a continuation of Part I, published in the previous volume of Estudios Hispanicos.

The evolution of the medieval sibilant phonetic system is crucial to understanding the origin of Castilian varieties on both sides of the Atlantic. It helps to distinguish varieties such as Andalusian Spanish, Judeo- Spanish, and trans-Atlantic Spanish, which constitute proof of many of the diachronic processes happening during and after the late medieval period. This study helps the reader understand the linguistic variations of the sibilants in the modem language, and explores the origins and different steps in their evolution; furthermore, it evaluates recent research about the timeline of these phonetic changes.

The reorganization in the sibilant paradigm greatly altered the configuration of the Spanish language as we know it today. It also made this language unique compared to other Romance languages that still maintain certain similarities with the old medieval Spanish sibilant system. These transformations happened at different stages and contexts throughout long periods of time, mainly between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries.


Reprinted with publisher permission.

Persistent Identifier