by B.J. Delas Armas on 8/17/2003 09:34:00 PM 0 comments Print this post

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History of the Spanish "Lisp": Urban Legend or Real Deal ?

People from Spain generally pronounce the letter 's' with a 'th' sound. It's a very lispy sound, and so I shall refer to this pronunciation as the 'lisp'. It's one thing I learned in 9th grade Spanish 1 from teacher supreme Miss Eckert and have taken with me since then. For the past few weeks, this topic of the Spanish 'lisp' has hijacked the center of my thoughts, and I've been speculating that "probably some dictator started speaking with a lisp and it spread like a cancer." Turns out:

Weehee. My gut feelings are the shit. I showed you, world (and Cress).

"According to legend, the lisp became common in Castillian because one of the Spanish kings (generally identified as Felipe V or Carlos V) spoke with a lisp, and his courtiers did not want to embarrass him by speaking otherwise."

However some punk at about.com seeks a more "refined" answer

This guy basically rambles on about how the Spanish 'lisp' is just an urban legend. He says that the 'lisp' is just a part of the culture, that the Spanish pronunciation of the 's' does not fit the definition of a 'lisp'.

However, on his psuedo-throne above all other students of Spanish, he fails to cite other historical facts that would combat the contention of this popular legend. The focus of his article was to dispell how the 'lisp' in the language originated with a dictator, but he went into a completely different tangent and discussed how the 'lisp' is not really a 'lisp'. Of course it's not really a lisp, it's how the Spaniards pronounce the 's' sound, but I still want to know on a more detailed level about how this 'lisp' became the norm.

So for now, I'm right.

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