15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


A New Perspective on Silbo Gomero

Annie Rialland

Laboratoire de Phonétique et Phonologie-CNRS, France

Silbo Gomero is a whistled encoding of the variety of Spanish spoken on the island of La Gomera in the Canarian archipelago. The purpose of the present study is to determine how and to what extent the whistled language encodes the phonemic structure of spoken Spanish. It shows that vowel qualities and consonantal place of articulation distinctions are transmitted primarily by F2-to-H0 transposition, while consonantal manner distinctions and rhythmic information are conveyed by modulations in the signal envelope.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Rialland, Annie (2003): "A new perspective on Silbo Gomero", In ICPhS-15, 2131-2134.