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cuban/puerto rican

Listening Samples

Sebastian (modeled after Gabriela)
Gabriela Extemporaneous
Gabriela Reading Elicitation Passage


Bertha loves her morning routine. Every day she wakes up, looks for her favorite tan mug, and makes her coffee. She blends one half cup of milk and two teaspoons of pure cane sugar into her drink. Then at ten o’clock she puts on her telenovela from Guatemala. This show is about a young kid with a vigorous passion for jazz. Each week Bertha enjoys being a part of the drama in their lives. After her show, she calls her friend, the nurse Paula, who lives near a market in Portland. The two women happily chat for one hour. After her phone call, Bertha drives north one mile for her Zumba class. 



For each sound, I’ve included audio examples and practice phrases. Unless otherwise indicated, practice phrases are excerpted from Lexical Sets for Actors by Eric Armstrong under a creative commons license.
vowel sounds

Words like KIT --> [  i̞ ]

This sound is a bit more lowered and relaxed than the vowel you might find in words like FLEECE
00:00 / 00:19


When KIT words are followed by L, they can become more like diphthongs (two vowels sounds).
00:00 / 00:07

Words like TRAP/BATH --> [ a̝ ] 

In this open vowel sound, you might experience slight cupping at the front body of the tongue. 
00:00 / 00:23


When TRAP words are followed by an /r/, they will receive a "clean" TRAP vowel.
00:00 / 00:18

Words like LOT/CLOTH --> [ ɒ̝ ]

In this open vowel sound, you may experience slight cupping in the back body of the tongue, and slight lip rounding. 
00:00 / 00:18

Words like STRUT --> [ ɐ ]

These words use fairly open, centered vowel sounds. 
00:00 / 00:27

Words like FOOT --> [ ɯ̹ ]

These vowels will feel high and back in the vocal tract with slight lip rounding.
00:00 / 00:16

Devoiced consonant sounds

/z/ sounds and ZH sounds tend to devoice
00:00 / 00:06
00:00 / 00:14



Slight Lip Rounding

Slightly cupped tongue

Lowered soft palate

Oral posture refers to a dialect or accent's "home base" in terms of articulatory settings - specifically the jaw, the lips, the tongue, the cheeks, and the velum (soft palate).  

In Gabriela's accent:
  • slightly cupped tongue
  • slight lip rounding
  • lip corners are lightly pinned
  • raised but mobile jaw
  • lowered velum (soft palate)
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