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Murcian Spanish
Native toSpain
RegionMurcia, Andalusia (Almería, partially in Jaén and Granada), Castile-La Mancha (Albacete) and Valencia (Vega Baja, Alicante)
Early forms
Spanish orthography (Latin script)
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3
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Murcian (endonym: murciano) is a variant of Peninsular Spanish, spoken mainly in the autonomous community of Murcia and the adjacent comarcas of Vega Baja del Segura and Alto Vinalopó in the province of Alicante (Valencia), the corridor of Almansa in Albacete (Castile-La Mancha). In a greater extent, it may also include some areas that were part of the former Kingdom of Murcia, such as southeastern Albacete (now part of Castile La Mancha) and parts of Jaén and Almería (now part of Andalusia).

The linguistic varieties of Murcian form a dialect continuum with Eastern Andalusian and Manchego Peninsular Spanish.

Murcian is considered a separate language of Spanish by some of its native speakers and by proponents Murcianism, who call it llengua murciana.[1][2] The term panocho is also used to designate the Murcian language, however it mostly refers to the variety spoken in the comarca of the Huerta de Murcia [es].


Murcian emerged from the mixture of several linguistic varieties that joined together after the Kingdom of Murcia was conquered by the Crown of Aragon and the Crown of Castile and populated with principally northeastern settlers between the 13th and 14th centuries.[3] The linguistic varieties were mainly Tudmir's Romance (a type of Andalusi Romance), Arabic, Aragonese, Old Castilian and Occitano-Catalan. In modern times Murcian has also been influenced by French and Caló.

Phonetic features of Murcian


The most notable characteristics of a Murcian accent involve the heavy reduction of syllable-final consonants, as well as the frequent loss of /d/ from the suffixes -ado/ada, -ido/-ida. No non-nasal consonants are permitted in word-final position. As is typical of Spanish, syllable-final nasals are neutralized, and assimilate to the place of articulation of a following consonant. In Murcian, as in many other varieties, the word-final nasal is typically realized as a velar [ŋ] when not followed by a consonant.[4]

Non-liquid, non-nasal postvocalic consonants in the syllable coda assimilate to both the place and the manner of articulation of the following consonant, producing a geminate. For instance, historical /pt/, /kt/ and /st/ all fall together as /tt/, rendering cacto 'cactus', casto 'chaste' and capto 'I understand' homophonous as [ˈkatto]. Historical /kst/ also joins this neutralization, rendering sexta 'sixth' (f.) homophonous with secta 'sect' as [ˈsetta]. Other historical postvocalic clusters affected by this include /sp, sd, sk, sɡ, sm, sn, sl/, in each case producing a geminated second element: [pp, dd, kk, ɡɡ, mm, nn, ll] (with [ðð] being an alternative to [dd]). This produces minimal pairs differentiated by consonant length, such as cisne [ˈθinne] 'swan' vs. cine [ˈθine] 'cinema'. This process also occurs across word boundaries, as in los nenes [lɔnˈnɛnɛ] 'the kids'.[5]

Syllable-final /r/ can assimilate to a following /l/ or /n/, while syllable-final /l/ may assimilate to a following /r/ and become a tapped [ɾ] before any other consonant.[4]

In casual speech, syllable- and word-final /s/ is never pronounced as a sibilant [s].[6] It is usually elided entirely or forms part of a geminate, although in areas bordering Andalusia it may be debuccalized, pronounced as an [h].[7]

While the word para is frequently realized as pa' in all Spanish varieties, in Murcian Spanish this is much more widespread, being more common among the upper classes and in more formal situations than in other zones.[8]

In older working-class rural speech, syllable-final /s/ surfaces as [ɾ] before word-initial consonants (particularly the voiced plosives and /n/), as in los vasos [lɔɾ ˈβæsɔ] 'the glasses'. /b, d, ɡ/ are lenited after this allophone. The replacement of [s] with [ɾ] is perceived as a very marked feature of rural Murcian, and it is disapproved of by the local population.[9]

Phonetic development

There are linguistic phenomena characteristic of traditional Murcian speech, many of which are or were usual in other linguistic varieties (Aragonese, Mozarabic, Catalan, Andalusian, etc.):


Murcian Spanish vowel chart[10]
Front Back
Close i u
Close-mid e o
Open-mid (ɛ) (ɔ)
Open (æ) a

The vowel system of Murcian Spanish is essentially the same of Eastern Andalusian.

The open-mid vowels [ɛ, ɔ] as well as the open front [æ] are realizations of /eC, oC, aC/ (where ⟨C⟩ stands for any consonant other than /n/ or /d/)[11] in the syllable coda. Due to vowel harmony, the close-mid [e, o] and the open central [ä] (hereafter transcribed without the diacritic) are banned from occurring in any syllable preceding that with [ɛ, ɔ, æ]. This change is sometimes[12] called vowel opening, but this is completely inaccurate for [a], which is not only more back than [æ] but also lower than it. Thus, the contrast between mañanas /maˈɲanas/ and the singular form mañana /maˈɲana/ 'morning' surfaces as a contrast of vowel quality: [mæˈɲænæ, maˈɲana], rather than the presence of terminal [s] in the former word.[10]

The close vowels have no contextual allophones, and they are consistently realized as close [i, u]. Thus, there is no difference between underlying /i, u/ and /is, us/ in most contexts, with both being realized as [i, u], without any trace of the final fricative in the latter case.[10]

Other characteristics

The diminutive suffix is -icho, which is likely related to -ico.[3]

See also


  1. ^ En difensa la llengua murciana. Llengua maere.
  2. ^ Llengua maere
  3. ^ a b c d e Pountain 2012, p. 50.
  4. ^ a b Monroy & Hernández-Campoy 2015, pp. 232–233.
  5. ^ Monroy & Hernández-Campoy 2015, pp. 231–232.
  6. ^ Hernández-Campoy 2008, pp. 128–130.
  7. ^ Monroy & Hernández-Campoy 2015, p. 235.
  8. ^ Jiménez-Cano, José María; Hernández-Campoy, Juan Manuel (2004-03-08). "Quantifying the standardization process in a non-standard local community: The case of Murcia". Spanish in Context. 1 (1): 67–93. doi:10.1075/sic.1.1.06jim. ISSN 1571-0718.
  9. ^ Monroy & Hernández-Campoy 2015, p. 232.
  10. ^ a b c " - LA PLANA E LA LLENGUA MURCIANA". Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  11. ^ Hernández-Campoy, Juan Manuel; Trudgill, Peter (2002). "FUNCTIONAL COMPENSATION AND SOUTHERN PENINSULAR SPANISH /s/ LOSS". Folia Linguistica Historica. 36 (Historica vol. 23, 1–2). doi:10.1515/flih.2002.23.1-2.31. ISSN 0168-647X. S2CID 170724744.
  12. ^ E.g. by Monroy & Hernández-Campoy (2015:233)


  • Alberto Sevilla. Vocabulario Murciano
  • García Soriano. Vocabulario del Dialecto Murciano
  • García Cotorruelo-Emilia. Estudio sobre el habla de Cartagena y su comarca.
  • Molina Fernández, Patricio. Parablero Murciano.
  • Muñoz Cortés-Manuel. El habla de la Huerta.
  • Aguilar Gil, Pedro. Raíces, habla y costumbres de los huertanos. A.A.V.V. Torrealta. Molina. 1999.
  • Álvar López, Manuel. Estudios sobre las hablas meridionales. Universidad de Granada. Granada. 2004.
  • Álvar López, Manuel. Las hablas meridionales de España y su interés para la lingüística comparada. Atlas Lingüístico de Andalucía, Tomo 1, nº. 2. Universidad de Granada. Granada. 1956.
  • Díez de Revenga, Francisco Javier y De Paco, Mariano. Historia de la literatura murciana. Editora Regional. Murcia. 1989.
  • Hernández-Campoy, Juan Manuel (January 2008). "Sociolinguistic aspects of Murcian Spanish". International Journal of the Sociology of Language (193/194): 121–138. doi:10.1515/IJSL.2008.051. S2CID 143708581.
  • Ibarra Lario, Antonia. Materiales para el conocimiento del habla de Lorca y su comarca. Universidad de Murcia. Murcia. 1996.
  • Monroy, Rafael; Hernández-Campoy, Juan Manuel (2015), "Murcian Spanish" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 45 (2): 229–240, doi:10.1017/S0025100314000231
  • Pountain, Christopher J. (2012). "Spanish Among the Ibero-Romance Languages". In Hualde, José Ignacio; Olarrea, Antxon; O'Rourke, Erin (eds.). The handbook of Hispanic linguistics. Hoboken: Blackwell Publishing. pp. 47–64. doi:10.1002/9781118228098.ch3. ISBN 9781405198820.
  • Zamora Vicente, Alonso (1967), Dialectología española (2nd ed.), Biblioteca Romanica Hispanica, Editorial Gredos, ISBN 9788424911157