I took a look at a bunch of questions here that were tagged pronunciación. I learned the following terms:



There is also distinción-vs-seseo.

  1. In addition I came across rotacismo. There are several questions about people's difficulty pronouncing the flapped R and the rolled R. The definition in Wikipedia doesn't say anything about Spanish learners. Would this term work just as well for Spanish learners' difficulties pronouncing the R in an authentic way?

  2. Are there other terms like these? For example, I'd like to find one that has to do with dropping the final S.

1 Answer 1


Rotacismo (rhotacism in English) as a speech pathology (a dyslalia) is a well-known phenomenon in Spanish. It's not a dialectal feature like yeísmo or distinción. Its name is misleading, as it suggests sounds become rhotic, when in fact what happens is that rhotic sounds are mispronounced.

Sigmatismo (sigmatism in English) is phonetically equivalent to ceceo (substituting [s] for [θ]), but while ceceo is a dialectal feature, sigmatism is pathological.

Lambdacismo (lambdacism in English) is the lateralization of the rhotic sounds, that is, the pronunciation of /r/ as /l/. It can be a dialectal feature or a speech problem. If the latter, it's a subtype of rhotacism.

The specific type of yeísmo found in Rioplatense Spanish, where the merger of former /j/ and /ʎ/ (y and ll) is pronounced as a postalveolar fricative (voiced [ʒ] or voiceless [ʃ]) is called yeísmo con rehilamiento. The term rehilamiento seems to be out of fashion in Spanish phonetics now, but it refers to the noticeably fricative character of the sounds, as opposed to the more common realizations, which tend to be approximant.

There are some authors that employ the term lleísmo for the phenomenon of distinguishing the phonemes /j/ and /ʎ/. Note that yeísmo (non-distinction) is the norm in Spanish as a whole.

There's no specific name, that I know of, for the assibilation of /r/ found in Andean Spanish. This, again, is a feature of the dialect, not a speech defect.

  • Is there a recording I could listen to, to get the idea of the assibilation of /r/? Jun 16, 2019 at 5:59
  • 1
    Lambdacismo is common in some regions when the r is in coda position. Ozuna, a Portorrican singer, is a good example of the phenomenon. Notice how decir and seguir are pronounced as decil and seguil in Amor genuino in the first stanza (around 00:20). The difference is subtle but noticeable.
    – Yay
    Jun 16, 2019 at 13:51
  • @aparente001 My go-to source for assibilated /r/ is Mercedes Sosa. Watch this video and listen to how she says "Costa Rica" (0:21) and "nuevos arreglos" (1:49); also this one where she says "Carlos del Corro ahí en la radio..." (0:48) and then "borrachos, locos de la guerra" (1:12).
    – pablodf76
    Jun 16, 2019 at 19:46

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