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My question comes from playing a videogame (Cyberpunk 2077) with Spanish audio settings. Quite unusually for games with such settings, it includes a wide range of accents and voice actors from across Spain and South America. Speaking to one non-player character (NPC) in particular, I was both intrigued and stumped as to where his accent comes from, and would appreciate any help locating it.

You can listen to it here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2y69OhNIDeQ&feature=youtu.be

The dialogue is relatively short, but it includes the following features:

  1. Ds sound like English Js in some circumstances but not others.

For example, 'adicta' sounds like 'adyicta' and in the phrase, 'Por favor, no digas eso', the pronuciation of 'digas' is closer to 'dyigas'. 'No paro de recordarle...', 'de' sounds like 'dye'.

However, the Ds in the following phrases are pronounced 'normally' with hard D sounds - 'Eso es quedarse corto', 'Como puedes ver,...' and 'como dicen mis clientes...'

  1. Consistently pronouncing soft C as S (sesear)

  2. 'Tipo' pronounced 'Chipo'

  3. The R at the start of 'recordar' sounds more like an 'H'.

The 2nd person negative imperative of decir sounding so different to its third person plural indicative makes me think perhaps the voice actor is just putting on an accent, inconsistently. However, even if this is the case, are there accents which include these features, which perhaps the actor is attempting to imitate? Many thanks.

[Edit - As suggested in the comments, I have added a link to a recording of the encounter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2y69OhNIDeQ&feature=youtu.be]

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    It sounds like you're describing palatalization of /d/ → [dʲ] etc. I find it strange this would occur before /a/ as well as before /e/ /i/ though. – jacobo Dec 21 '20 at 15:19
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    Maybe the actor is not a native speaker or it could be something else. If you post a segment of that audio the natives may be able to identify it. Without hearing it I don't think you will get valid answers. – DGaleano Dec 21 '20 at 15:29
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    brazofuerte - it only seems to occur before /i/ but it seems to be inconsistent - digas sound like [dʲ] but dicen sounds like [d]. DGaleano - I agree that would be more helpful. Will try to figure out how to record and upload. – Will C Dec 21 '20 at 16:32
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    That pronunciation of d is fairly common in Brazilian Portuguese I think. A colleague always referred to the dean as the jean. – mdewey Dec 21 '20 at 17:37
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    I wonder if the local accent could be Uruguayan or Argentine. There is some contagion between those local accents and Brazilian Portuguese. – Walter Mitty Dec 22 '20 at 10:52
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Just so this question does not go unanswered and collecting together contributions from the comments (by WalterMitty, user072109601 and me) the consensus seems to be that this is someone speaking Spanish but sounding like or trying to sound like a Brazilian.

The phonology of Brazilian Portuguese is described in the Wikipedia article here. The equivalent article in the English version is not as clear in my opinion.

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  • Nice one. Many thanks to you and all those who contributed. – Will C Dec 23 '20 at 14:06

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