THE SPANISH OF MURCIA

Introduction

Murcia, an area historically comprising two contemporary provinces of Spain (Murcia and Albacete) and parts of several others, represents a linguistic transition zone sandwiched among the dialects of eastern Andalusia, Alicante, and Castilla/La Mancha.  Bordered to the west by Almería and Granada, to the northeast by Alicante, and to the northwest by Albacete, Murcia is Spanish-speaking, although traces of Catalan crop up along its eastern border (for early influences cf. Díez de Revenga Torres 1997 and Colomina i Castanyer 1997).  Despite its small size, Murcia contains some of the greatest amount of dialect diversity per unit area of any region of Spain, ranging from the Andalusian-like traits of the extreme western portion and long the coast (including Cartagena) to the linguistically more conservative Manchego speech of the north.  Traditionally the Murcia dialect is considered to include some comarcas of Alicante (Sax, Villena, Salinas, Elda, Aspe; cf. Zamora Vicente 1967:  339; Torreblanca Espinosa 1976), and bordering areas of Granada (Huéscar) and Almería, as well as most of Albacete province.  Alvar (1960:  463) even includes a few points in the province of Jaén, which does not border on Murcia.  Sempere Martínez (1995:  25-6) represents the widely held opinion that the Murcia dialect is an extension of Andalusian Spanish.  There is some debate as to whether the Murcian or panocho dialect of the huerta (rural farmlands) truly merits the designation as a separate dialect area, as befits its former status as an independent kingdom and its current designation as an autonomous region of Spain.  Unlike, for instance, Andalusian or Extremaduran dialects, Murcian Spanish does not have a unique set of defining characteristics, but rather exhibits an overlapping of popular Castilian/Andalusian tendencies, with slight overlays of Aragonese and Valencian.  García de Diego (1959:  356) regards Murcia as one of the areas where the original dialects have been completely overlaid by popular Castilian speech.  Most linguistic studies have based themselves on the panocho or central huerta dialect, largely due to the considerable folk literature production which purports to represent this dialect.  Like most other literary stereotypes, literary panocho dialect is full of quantitative exaggerations and perhaps even distorsions; it is unlikely that any rural Murcian speaker ever used such a heavily deviant speech.  The regionalist writer Vicente Medina, who himself used panocho dialect to good end, complained in 1899 that `Ese "panocho" no es el habla murciana del día y creo además que, aun remontándonos a su tiempo, bien analizado por quien entonces le hablara, o le oyese hablar, resultaría plagado de infinidad de exageraciones que se le atribuían buscando el efecto cómico, grotesco y bufo, único fin de los que tal habla cultivaron' (Muñoz Garrigós 1996:  323).  One hundred years later this statement is even more accurate

Nowadays, virtually no one in Murcia uses the term panocho to refer to the local dialects; variants of murciano, castellano, manchego, huertano and even andaluz are used to designate local speech (Sempere Martínez 1995:  63-6).  Sempere Martínez (1995:  66) speculates on the absence of the self-designation panocho in contemporary Murcia:  `La palabra panocho, derivada de panocha "mazorca", y de ahí su connotación de rusticidad, se viene utilizando desde el pasado siglo para denominar el habla de los huertanos de Murcia en contraste con el español normativo.  Los escritores costumbristas murcianos califican sus obras generalmente como "literatura panocha" ... este calificativo, con toda probabilidad originado en medios urbanos, fue utilizado por los escritores costumbristas que Díaz Cassou llamó civitatenses y que exageraban, y continúan exagerando, las características del dialecto murciano.  No es de extrañar ... que no apareciese en ...[las] encuestas.'  As to specific queries on the term panocho, `... cuando se les pregunta a los huertanos quién habla panocho responden que se habla en la huerta, a pesar de que ellos son precisamente los hablantes de la huerta.  O sea que se trata de un habla mítica en una huerta mítica que nadie conoce en la realidad, pero de la cual se comenta a menudo en bandos, versos festivos, proclamaciones y sainetes.  Quede, pues, de una vez por todas desterrado el engañoso panocho que no es sinónimo de dialecto murciano, sino de artificial lenguaje literario que remeda el habla viva de Murcia' (Sempere Martínez 1995:  66).

A glance at folkloric texts from Murcia, from the 18th century to the first half of the 20th, reveal a dialect which is substantially different from canonical Andalusian, Castilian, and Valencian varieties.  Today the urban Peninsular standards prevail in Murcia, and the auditory impression upon meeting a moderately educated Murcian is that of Castilian Spanish at the southern extremes of Castile/La Mancha, where reduction of /s/ reaches higher levels than in the principal Castilian cities.

What is not clear is the extent to which the literary panocho dialect ever existed in a real speech community.  The regionalist writer Vicente Medina, whose Aires murcianos contain prototypically panocho language, declared in 1899 that `Yo no trato de imitar siquiera el anticuado "panocho" de bandos y "soflamos" ... ese "panocho" no es el habla murciana del día y creo además que, aun remontándose a su tiempo, bien analizado por quien entonces le hablara, o le oyese hablar, resultaría plagado de infinidad de exageraciones que se le atribuían buscando el efecto cómico, grotesco y bufo, único fin de los que tal habla cultivaron' (Diez de Revenga Torres 1983:  239).  Barceló Jiménez (1973) described Medina's poetry as `sin artificios retóricos, sino más bien dentro de un sentido de expresión natural y llana, como la del huertano.' Speaking of popular panocho literature, he observes that it is `la producción literaria de unos hombres sencillos, ingenuos a veces, pero sobre todo apegados a su terruño; campesina, rural, pero no desprovista de una dimensión social apreciable en casi todos los escritores.'  Muñoz Cortés (1973) differentiates between `el habla viva murciana' and panocho literary language; the latter is `fijada y en cierto modo recreada por una tradición que arranca ya del siglo XVIII y que ha tomado el nombre de "panocho."  Aunque indudablemente tiene un sustrato en el habla real, ha habido, sobre todo en la degeneración actual, una toma, no de una fuente popular, sino de la literatura anterior.  Los autores clásicos del panocho ... reflejaban el habla popular, pero también recreaban formas, sobre todo en lo que llamaremos adaptaciones de estratos superiores de la lengua.  Pero muchos de los rasgos característicos, sobre todo, en la fonética, se han perdido, por efecto de la nivelación lingüística.'  And Vicente Medina himself had described, in 1933, `el lenguaje de mi tierra, que no era, ni es, otra cosa que un castellano claro, flexible, musical, matizado con algunos provincialismos' (Diez de Revenga Torres 1983:  241).  This confirms his comments of 1927:  `todas mis obras regionales ... son castellanas en su lenguaje:  lenguaje popular con aire provinciano--no exclusivo de la región murciana, sino de Albacete, Alicante y Almería en sus límites y contacto con la provincia de Murcia' (Diez de Reventa Torres 1983:  243).  Medina discovered that the majority of his `regional' words were found in the Spanish Royal Academy's dictionaryAnd Miguel de Unamuno once advised Medina to not over use diminutives in -ico and other supposed regionalisms:  `debe usted oír mucho a los huertanos y recoger todas sus frases, giros, voces y modos de decir, sin fiarse de la memoria sola.  El gran escollo en que han tropezado cuantos se han dedicado a cultivar esas hablas, ha sido el de acabar creando un dialecto para sí, un vocabulario restringido' (Diez de Revenga Torres 1983:  242).  Ballester (1970:  15) belives that Medina used `un lenguaje adecuado, que no es puramente el panocho huertano, aunque sin duda él muestra conocerlo bien, sino una especie de estilización suya, con mucha delicadeza conseguida, para dar al habla la suavidad y la flexibilidad de que hubiera carecido manteniendo el dialecto huertano en su pureza integral.'  Muñoz Cortés (1958:  25), speaking of Spanish `regional' literature in general, stated that `hay rasgos que no son "dialectales" o "regionales", sino que son sencillamente "vulgares" ... lo "vulgar" no se localiza en una región determinada, no indica, por tanto, procedencia geográfica en los hablantes, sino una categoría social baja ... esa poesía "regional" lo es en pequeña parte; la mayor parte de sus rasgos son vulgarismos."

Although most of the linguistic traits of Murcian regionalist literature actually occurred in the spoken panocho dialect--if not always with the high frequencies suggested by the literary texts--some actually occurring traits rarely appear in the literature.  Among the most salient is the frequent aspiration and loss of word-final /s/, nearly categorical in traditional panocho speech but conspicuously absent from most of the regionalist literature.  Speaking of the scarcity of attestations of loss of final /s/ in the works of the regionalist poet Vicente Medina, Diez de Revenga Torres (1983:  244) speculates that `Quizá el poeta pensaba que la lectura o recitación de su poesía llevada a cabo por un murciano salvaría esta deficiencia, puesto que utiliza la grafía -s para la aspiración---también ensordecida--de la -z en posición silábica implosiva o posnuclear ...'

Regional linguistic variation within Murcia

As befits a transitional dialect zone marked by the historical confluence of several powerful dialects and languages, Murcian Spanish exhibits considerable regional and social variation within a small geographic area.  Despite the inclusion of Murcia in Spanish dialect atlases, there is no consensus on the number or nature of subdialects, but nearly all residents recognize the distinctive nature of Cartagena and adjacent coastal zones, in contrast to the speech of the provincial capital.  Muñoz Garrigós (1996:  319) alludes to a desire on the part of Cartagena speakers to linguistically differentiate themselves from residents of the provincial capital, as well as the diverse geographical origins of the military and industrial installations in Cartagena.  García Soriano (1980:  xiv-xv) identifies six dialect zones:  (1) northeast (including Villena and Yecla); (2) southeast; (3) south (including Cartagena); (4) southwest (including Lorca); (5) northwest (including Albacete); (6) central (including Murcia the capital).  Muñoz Garrigós (1986; 1996:  318) speaks of seven subdialects, largely coinciding with those mentioned by García Soriano.  The principal features marking the isoglosses is presence or absence of the distinction /s/-/θ/, the pronunciation of the affricate /č/ (which can be very forward, almost reaching [ts]-Sempere Martínez 1995:  27), the laxing of final /a/, /e/, /o/ following loss of final /s/, and weakening of syllable- and word-final /s/.  The latter phenomenon, characteristic of eastern Andalusian dialects, has been documented for some parts of Murcia (e.g. Sempere Martínez 1995:  26).

External history

Like nearly all the rest of Spain, Murcia was conquered and occupied by the Moors for several centuries.  Little evidence of Mozarabic language from Murcia remains, but surviving documentation suggests a variety not significantly different from those of Al-Andalus.  The Christian reconquest of Murcia was undertaken between 1241 and 1244, by King Alfonso X of Castile, but by 1261 the newly subjugated Moors revolted.  The rebellion was put down by King Jaume I of Aragon, and Murcia was repopulated by Christians from Castile, Cataluña and above all, Aragon.  García Soriano (1982:  xxi) speculates that most of the new settlers were from Aragon and Cataluña, judging by their names.  Other scholars paint a similar picture, from which it is surprising that the Spanish of Murcia is, overall, more `Castilian' than Aragonese/Catalan.  From 1296 to 1305 Aragon (under King Jaume II) officially occupied Murcia, but the linguistic and cultural influences were much more extensive and long-lasting.  Murcia came under the crown of Castile in the early 14th century, after a series of boundary disputes between Aragonese and Castilian territory--which at times threatened to erupt into war--were finally settled.  To this day, the Murcia dialect of Spanish bears striking similarities to the traditional Spanish of Aragon; the coincidences between non-contiguous dialect zones can be directly attributed to the patterns of reconquest.

Contact with other languages

Arabic was spoken in Murcia for more than five centuries, but Mozarabic language all but vanished in Murcia after the Christian reconquest.  García Soriano (1980: xxxiii) observes that tracing Mozarabic influence on Murcian Spanish is rendered nearly impossible by the lack of authentic texts which would permit reconstruction of Mozarabic language in this region.  Like other Mozarabic dialects, the Arabo-Romance spoken in Murcia appears to have been linguistically conservative, preferring fewer diphthongs than Castilian and retaining many voiceless obstruents that became voiced in Castilian.

Murcia, together with other eastern areas of the Iberian Peninsula, contained an early population of black Africans, the first of whom had arrived during Medieval times, crossing the Mediterranean from northeastern Africa (Ethiopia, Egypt) and settling throughout Valencia, Cataluña and Aragon.  Many black slaves were found throughout Moorish southern Spain, and by the 13th century African religious societies or cofradías had sprung up in several newly Christianized cities.  By the end of the 15th century southeastern Spain began to receive a trickle of the sub-Saharan Africans who were arriving in southern Spain via Portugal, and who were to become a significant cultural, linguistic, and literary presence in Spain for the next two centuries.  The same slave trade extended to Valencia and the Balearic Islands, especially Majorca, where beginning around 1457 Portuguese West African traders replaced North African intermediaries as the prime suppliers of black slaves.  In 1489, the arrival of a group of Wolofs is registered for Valencia (Verlinden 1977:  355-6), and the term bozals, used to refer to African-born slaves, makes its first appearance in Catalan.  It is estimated that nearly 2500 Wolofs alone were taken to Valencia in the last decades of the 15th century (Verlinden 1977:  356).  There is no surviving documentation of the effects of these Africans on Spanish and other regional languages, but judging by later literary texts from central and western Spain, newly arrived Africans spoke a Spanish-based pidgin while their descendents spoke only regional dialects of Spanish, although perhaps retaining certain ethnolinguistic characteristics for several generations due to the ghettoization of the Iberian Peninsula's black residents.

Phonetics and phonology

The pronunciation of Spanish within Murcia varies widely by geographical region, but also along the rural-urban and uneducated-educated axes.  Traditional panocho speech remains vestigially among elderly, rural speakers with little formal education, while younger urban professionals speak a more cosmopolitan language with fewer regional differentiators.  Some common denominators characterize the entire region:

(1)  Word-final /n/ is uniformly alveolar [n], except sporadically along the western borders with Andalusian dialects, where some velarization occurs (Sempere Martínez 1995:  26 suggests more frequent velarization, but in the principal cities and towns of Murcia an alveolar pronunciation prevails).  García Cotorruelo (1959:  67) reports some velarization of word-final /n/ in Cartagena.

(2)  As a dialect zone, modern Murcia routinely distinguishes between etymological /s/ and /θ/, the same as Castilian dialects.  Zamora Vicente (1967:  341) groups Murcia under the seseo dialects, which was historically accurate, but the rapid spread of the urban Castilian standard throughout the region has resulted in a high degree of differentiation of the two sibilant phonemes, much as has occurred in eastern Andalusia.  Alvar (1960:  464) records seseo `de origen valenciano' in some Murcian dialects of Alicante province, as well as in Cartagena and La Unión (García Martínez 1960:  71-3; 1976-7 also describes seseo for the latter cities), while the remainder of Murcia differentiates /s/ and /θ/.  García Soriano (1980:  lxxvii) also records seseo along the border with Alicante, as well as in Cartagena and La Unión.  Gimeno (1992) studies seseo within Alicante, while Menéndez (@) records seseo along the Alicante-Murcia linguistic borders.  In the traditional panocho dialect, word-final /θ/ was uniformly realized as [s], or deleted; the /s/-/θ/ contrast was not maintained word-finally.

(3)  The /s/ is apicoalveolar throughout most of Murcia.  Along the coast, an alveolar Andalusian /s/ prevails (García Martínez 1960:  73).  Muñoz Garrigós (1986:  152) suggests that the Murcian apicoalveolar /s/ has spread into extreme eastern Andalusia, while the Andalusian seseo has penetrated the coastal areas of Murcia, most specifically Cartagena.

(4)  Yeísmo (lack of distinction between /y/ and /λ/) is general throughout Murcia; only tiny pockets remain where /λ/ may be heard occasionally.  Zamora Vicente (1967:  342) and Alvar (1960:  464) claim yeísmo for the urban areas, but nowadays all but the oldest rural murcianos lack /ll/, except perhaps for the occasional word.

(5)  The posterior fricative /x/ is velar [x] rather than the uvular [X] of Castile or the pharyngeal [h] of most of Andalusia.

(6)  In popular speech the diphthong [ei] may be realized as [ai], as in seis, aceite, etc.  This trait, shared with eastern Andalusia, is stigmatized and not found in educated speech.

(7)  Word-final and intervocalic /d/ is very weak in Murcia and routinely disappears in all but the most careful speech.  Massive elimination of intervocalic /d/ was once the norm in vernacular panocho speech, as it was in other regions of Spain, but the pressures of the educated urban standard have rolled back this tendency somewhat.

(8)  Word-final /r/ is quite variable throughout Murcia.  In urban areas there is a tendency to drop this sound, particularly in rapid, casual speech.  In many rural areas, particularly along the coast near Cartagena, lateralization to [l] is still heard; this phenomenon was once much more frequent.  In Lorca, the shift of syllable-final /l/ > [r] is more common (Ibarra Lario 1996:  184-5).

(9)  Word-internal preconsonantal /l/ and /r/ are occasionally neutralized, usually in favor of [r].  This process was once much more frequent in popular speech, but is stigmatized in contemporary educated language.  In the past, vocalization of syllable-final /l/ and /r/ to [i] was commonplace in Murcia:

 

...espigas qu' están güenas pá hacer moragas, poique vá el año adelantao y están granás (Díaz Cassou 1982:  264)

  ... los toreros paecen

poique saben que son monas ... (García Velasco 1974:  13)

 

In Latin American Spanish, vocalization of syllable-final liquids predominates in the Cibao, the northern part of the Dominican Republic; it was found among 19th century Puerto Rican jíbaros or rural dwellers of the mountainous interior (Alvarez Nazario 1990), and in the speech of the negros curros of 19th century Havana (Bachiller y Morales 1883; Cruz 1974; García González 1980:  119-20; Montori 1916:  108), fast-talking young free black men.  In the Dominican Republic Golibart (1976) proposes a Canary Island origin for the vocalization, although not excluding a Murcian contribution.  Word-internal prevocalic /l/ in consonant clusters is occasionally neutralized to [r]:  hablar > habrar (Ramírez Jarriá 1927:  9).

(10) In the traditional vernacular speech of Murcia, intervocalic /r/ was frequently elided (parece > paece, quiero > quieo), as in many other popular Peninsular, Canary, and Latin American varieties.  Currently this pronunciation occurs only sporadically among the least educated speakers.

(11)  Elision of intervocalic /b/, realized as a weak bilabial fricative at best, was a common feature of panocho speech.  Currently rates of deletition of /b/ among most residents of Murcia do not differ substantially from the rest of southern Spain.  Interchange of /b/ and /g/ is frequent in popular speech (vuelve > güelve, vomitar > gomitar, orgullo > arbullo, even cuchillo > buchillo), and an intrusive intervocalic [b] is sometimes added:  ahora > abora.

(12)  Metathesis involving /r/ and obstruent consonants, a feature of much of eastern Spain and Sephardic Spanish, is still found among rural Murcian speakers (pobre > probe, cabra > craba, etc.), although such forms are socially stigmatized.  Metathesis involving semivocalic [i] also occurs (García Soriano 1980:  lxviii):  nadie > nadie, cuidar > cudiar, ciudad > zuidá/zudiá.

(13)  In the traditional panocho dialect, final syllables -ne, -re were frequently elided in verb forms:  tiene > tié, quiere > quié, hubiera > hubiá, etc. (García Soriano 1980:  xcvii; Ramírez Xarriá 1927:  9).

(14)  Interchange of /f/ and /x/ is frequent in rural vernacular speech, particularly before vocalic and semivocalic /u/ (and also /o/):  función > junción, fuerte > juerte.  Very occasionally /b/ > [f]:  vaca > faca, bonito > fonito (Ramírez Xarriá 1927:  9).

(15)  Vocalic instability, especially the interchange of unstressed /a/ and /e/, and /o/ and /u/, is found in rural speech, much as in other popular varieties of Spanish; these variants do not occur in educated speech:  escuchar > ascuchar, esconder > asconder, usted > osté, entonces > antonces, etc.

(16)  In rustic speech, preconsonantal /d/ is frequently vocalized to [i]:  madre > maire, padre > maire, ladrón > lairón.  This appears to result from resyllabification of the /d/ to the rhyme of the preceding syllable (Lipski @, Martínez-Gil @).  In general, syllable-final obstruents are vocalized in vernacular Murcian speech:  carácter > caráiter, doctor > doitor, etc.

(17)  Initial /g/ is occasionally realized as a voiceless fricative [x]:  guitarra > jitarra (Ibarra Lario 1996:  185).

The main regional and social differentiator of Murcian Spanish is the realization of syllable- and word-final /s/.  Descriptions of Murcia usually remark on /s/ as being aspirated or lost throughout the zone, but in contemporary speech the Castilian/La Mancha resistance of final /s/ has made significant inroads into Murcia.  In most of Albacete province, syllable-final /s/ is weakened to an aspiration (Quilis 1960).  García Soriano (1980:  xiv) notes that aspiration is frequent along the border with Andalusia, but drops off drastically in eastern Murcia.  Ibarra Lario (1996:  184) describes heavy aspiration and loss of final /s/ in Lorca, in southwestern Murcia.  Educated Murcia speakers retain most instances of phrase-final /s/ as [s], while aspirating word-final preconsonantal and sometimes prevocalic /s/ (las casas, los amigos).  Word-internal preconsonantal /s/ is variably aspirated, with retention of [s] being quite high.  Along the coast, centered on the port of Cartagena, complete loss of word-final /s/ is more common.  The coastal dialect is reputed to distinguish vocalic timbre before elided final /s/, much as occurs in eastern Andalusian dialects (García Martínez 1960:  54; García Cotorruelo 1959:  35f), although this is not as common as it once was.  Torreblanca Espinosa (1976:  chap. 8) reports similar compensatory laxing in the dialects of Villena and Sax.  Word-internally and word-finally, the phonetic results of weakened preconsonantal /s/ vary widely.  Gemination of the following consonant sometimes occurs (Alvar 1960:  464; García Soriano 1980:  lxxviii):  obispo > obippo, pasmo > pammo.  As occurs in many Andalusian dialects, aspirated /s/ before a voiced obstruent /b/, /d/, /g/ often gives rise to a voiceless fricative:  las gallinas > la [x]allina, dos días > do [θ]ía, las botas > la [φ]ota, etc. (García Soriano 1980:  lxxviii).

 

Morphosyntactic features

 

(1)  The traditional diminutive ending in Murcia is -ico, a suffix also found in Aragon, whence it was presumably transferred to Murcia during the reconquest.  Although once common in other parts of Spain, this suffix has largely disappeared from the Iberian Peninsula except in in the dialects of Aragon and Murcia.  In Murcia there is an additional popular variant, -iquio/-iquia, possibly arriving from the once frequent palatalization of /k/ after front vowels.  The variants -icho/-icha and even -ichio/-ichia occasionally are found (Sempere Martínez 1995:  29).

(2)  The panocho dialect occasionally allows for overt subjects before infinitives in subordinate clauses (pa él sustenerme), a configuration not common in the rest of Spain, except for Galicia, where it is an offshoot of the Galician/Portuguese personal infinitive.  It is also found in the Canary Islands, possibly through the heavy Galician/Portuguese influence on that dialect.

(3)  There are some hints that double negation, that is no both before and after the main verb, existed in popular Murcian speech, as suggested by the following folkloric example (Díaz Cassou et al. 1900:  24):

 

Ya sé qu' estás en camisa,

y que no te duermes ;

ya sé qu' estás ascuchando,

las coplas que canto yo.

 

There is no active double negation in contemporary Murcian Spanish such as found, for example, in the Colombian Chocó (Schwegler @) or the vernacular speech of the Dominican Republic (Schwegler @), which several investigators have attributed to African influences, specifically the use of dual negative particles in kiKongo and related languages.

(4)  In the traditional panocho dialect the first person plural preterite of first conjugation verbs in -ar took as theme vowel [e] instead of [a]:  sudamos > sudemos, entramos > entremos, tomamos > tomemos (Ramírez Xarriá 1927:  10; García Soriano 1980:  xcviii; García Martínez 1960:  130-1; Guillén García 1974:  64; García Cotorruelo 1959:  108; Sempere Martínez 1995:  34, who notes similar processes in Navarra speech and in old Spanish).  More recently, Torreblanca Espinosa (1976:  183) has described a similar process for Villena and Sax, in which the first person plural form of all present indicative verbs ends in -emos:  salimos > salemos, trabajamos > trabajemos, etc.  These developments are relatively unique within Peninsular dialects, but finds resonance in some vernacular Dominican dialects, where use of what has been analyzed as the subjunctive instead of the indicative (but which could actually be preterite forms in most cases) occurs most frequently in the first person plural.  Henríquez Ureña (1940:  177) claimed that the change only affected irregular verbs which add a /g/ in the first person singular forms, and occurred only in the first person plural:  tenemos > tengamos, venimos > vengamos, etc.  In fact, the process is primarily confined to the northern region of the country, but affects a wide range of verbs; in principal any verb can be shifted, but the shift is usually limited to first person plural forms (Jiménez Sabater 1975:  166; Megenney 1990).  Megenney (1990:  @)  suggests an African basis for this interchange, but without supporting evidence.

(5)  In the rural huerta dialect, the copula es was often replaced by sa (possible from se ha > s'ha):  sa mester que bayas < es menester que vayas (Ramírez Xarriá 1927:  11; García Soriano 1980:  xcvii).  This word was used most frequently in combination with me(ne)ster.  This is unique among Spanish dialects; it bears a striking resemblance to the frequent use of the invariant copula sa (replacing both ser and estar) in Afro-Hispanic and Afro-Portuguese language from the 15th to the 19th century; this copula survives in several Portuguese-based creoles (Lipski@).  At this point there is no evidence to link the panocho dialect to the Afro-Iberian copula sa, although Lipski (@) has suggested a Murcian/Aragonese input into some Afro-Caribbean Spanish forms.

(6)  In the northeastern part of Murcia, the superlative ending -ísimo is frequently pronounced as -ismo (García Soriano 1980:  lxviii).

(7)  In rustic speech, the clitic los (or lus) may substitute for os or se:  lus vais/sus vais/se vais (os vais) (Alvar 1960:  465; García Soriano 1980:  xcvii; García Martínez 1960:  129-30; Guillén García 1974:  61).

(8)  In popular speech, ser was often used as the auxiliar verb rather than haber:  a lo que semos [hemos] venío; así se jueran [hubieran] ahorrao que ... (García Soriano 1980:  xcvii; García Martínez 1960:  132; Guillén García 1974:  67; García Cotorruelo 1959:  120)

(9)  In the northeastern part of Murcia, loss of the definite article (possibly through Aragonese influence) sometimes occurs:  ir a [la] escuela (García Soriano 1980:  xcvi).

(10)  Several linguists (e.g. Alvar 1960:  465; García Soriano 1980:  xcvi) have noted that in the popular speech of the capital city Murcia, indefinite articles are in fact proclitics, pronounced very weakly and bearing no independent accent as occurs in other dialects. 

(11)  In rustic speech, all second- and third-conjugation verbs take the suffix -iba in the imperfect:  traiba, deciba, moriba.

(12)  The adjective muncho can be used as an intensifying adverb, rather than muy:  muncho alto `very high,' muncho bueno `very good' (García Soriano 1980:  xcix).

(13)  There are a number of analogical gerunds throughout the Murcian-speaking area:  dijiendo, quisiendo, viniendo, tuviendo, fuendo/juendo (siendo), etc.  A pseudo-morphological /s/ is sometimes added to the gerund (Torreblanca Espinosa 1976:  184).

(14)  En + infinitive is sometimes used to express `after ... -ing,' rather than después de + infinitive:  en coser esto, te preparo la comida `after sewing this, I'll prepare dinner for you' (Torreblanca Espinosa 1976:  187).  Similar constructions are found in Aragonese and Catalan.

(15)  At the vernacular level, the second person plural (vosotros) form of second conjugation -er verbs ends in -ís instead of -éis; in the subjunctive of first conjugation -ar verbs, -ís may also occur:  no andís < no andéis (García Cotorruelo 1959:  109).

Lexicon of Murcian Spanish

Ferrandiz Araujo (1974) describes the vocabulary of folk medicine in Cartagena.  Gómez Ortín 1991) describes the vocabulary of northwestern Murcia province, along the border with Albacete.  Ortuño Palao (1987) covers the vocabulary of Yecla. Ibarra Lario (1996) covers the lexicon of Lorca.  García Soriano (1932), Lemus y Rubio (1933), Ramírez Xarriá (1927), Sevilla (1919), are reference works on the lexicon of Murcia.  Sempere Martínez (1995) studies Murcian lexical items of possible Catalan origin.  Of particular interest are the words chache/chacha < tío, tía; blood-related aunts and uncles (García Cotorruelo 1959:  119).  This corresponds to the use of cho, cha in popular Canary Island Spanish.

Murcian Spanish outside of Spain

During the early colonization of Spanish America, Murcia was under the influence of Aragon, and as such did not participate in emigration to the Americas.  Aragon, Valencia, Murcia, and Cataluña still sent most of their emigrants to Mediterranean destinations, and early Spanish emigration laws even excluded Aragonese, Valencians, and Catalans from booking passage to the Americas, although it is unclear whether and to what extent such laws were ever enforced.  However, Aragonese merchants participated actively in trade with Spanish America, and many Aragonese (including settlers from Murcia) did legally emigrate during the early colonial period (Armillas Vicente y Moreno Vallejo 1977:  63-5).  There is little direct evidence on the presence of Murcian speakers during the formative period of Latin American Spanish dialects, but several features of panocho speech (the diminutive suffix -ico, vocalization of syllable-final /l/ and /r/, overt subjects before infinitives, etc.) are found in several Latin American regions, particularly in the Caribbean.  Enguita Utrilla (1990:  67-70) mentions several similarities between Aragonese Spanish and various Latin American dialects; many of these similarities extend to the Murcian dialects.

 

Textual examples of Murcian Spanish

From the 18th century (García Soriano 1932:  civ):

 

La Esperancia, la Sencia,

y la Gramanza,

hacen al hombre supio

por la estudianza

aupa, aupa,

no es Vm. la pantasma

que a mi me asustia ...

aunque en toa mi quiasa

haiga un timulto,

no podrán arrincarme

de tu volunto ...

 

Late 19th century: 

 

Por allí viene, maere,

lo que bien quiero:

la carreta, los güeyes

y er carretero;

¡ay! maere tenme,

que me fartan las juerzas

pa el susteneme ...

la noche e la inundación

me fí en casa e la que quiero;

que si era la fin der mundo,

me piyara junto ar cielo... 

 

¿Pa qué quiés que vaya?  Pa ver cuatro espigas

arroyás y pegás a la tierra;

pa ver los sarmientos ruines y mustios

y esuñas las cepas,

sin un grano d'uva ... (Alvar 1960:  478)

 

Lla se pasaron los años

d'alegrías y parrandas;

nusotros lla semos viejos

y como las juerzas fartan,

aprepárate la mesa

con lo uue de comer haiga:

si quean crillas cocías

vamos a saborearlas

con su poquiquio se sal ...

y dimpués, junto a la lumbre,

dé prencipio nuestra prática

en ese durce panocho

c'al güertano encanta ...  (García Velasco 1974:  7-8)

 

From early 20th century

 

Y a tuiquio esto, yo con la burra bien agarrá del ramal pa ver de que no se espantara de to aquello; pero cuando estaba más descuidiao emprencipió a tocar la música a parte ajuera y el alimal vengan repullos y pares de coces del susto, que no la podía gobernar tan aínas.  Yo no sé si los tíos aquellos repararían dimpués en el estrozo que hizo, pero lo menos cuatro veces metió las patas de atrás en unos cudros mu grandes que estaban allí en un rincón, dejándoles tuiquios ejarraos como una bilocha.  La suerte que yo tuve jue que no lo vido el amo ni naide, que si allegan a aprecibirse al contao, conoque nos jueran vendío a mí y a la burra, no sacan pa los daños y prejuicios ... (Alvar 1960:  483)

           

José Frutos Baeza (Alvar 1960:  489)

 

Mariapepa, echa unas rajas,

que voy a arrimalles juebo,

porque trayo un paralís,

en tuiquia la caja er cuerpo,

que si no arremato abora

no me mata un terretremo.

Que no venga Faco el Rullo

a icir que vaya a echar juegos

pa precurarse esta noche

un rato e divertimiento,

porque ma puesto arrecío

y encorvillao este tiempo

con el zurrusco que corre

de Tramontana y er Puerto.

 

La zagala estaba

tóa encortaíca

sin alzar los ojos,

la cara encendía,

trenzando los flecos de su pañuelico

con las manecicas.

Con los ojos puestos

en la zagalica,

abonico el mozo

su querer l'icía

con unas palabras ... ¡qué güenas, ¡qué dulces!

¡ay, qué palabricas!...

Daba gusto verlos,

¡Qué pareja hacían!' El, arriscaíco,

sin parar d'icirla ...

Ella, con sus labios siempre cerraícos

sin icir naíca ... (Medina 1923:  15-16)

 

Tu maere estará diciendo

que no la ejo dormir,

pos ella tiene a su lao,

la que no m'eja a mí.

Quien la música te trujo

no te lo quisiá icir;

pero está tan retirao

como la ropa de mí.

...

Quisiá que pudiera ser,

por argún arte partirme

con una mitá quearme,

y con la otra mitá dirme

...

Canto esta copla y na más,

porque me voy a dormir,

que mañana si Dios quiere

naide ha de velar por mí (Díaz Casswou, López Almagro, García López 1900:  24-5)

           

Jue tu cariño Pepa

flor del almendro,

s'empavesa de pronto,

si hiela presto;

er mío es de piedra,

andequiá que lo pongo,

allí se quea.

...

El hoyiquio de tu barba

a tanto me compromete,

que si juera sepoltura

yo mesmo me diá la muerte (Díaz Cassou 1982:  129)

           

Pos a e saber osté que lo de esa zagala se va poniendo feo, y yo estoy mu apretao, tío Migalo, y si osté no me saca de esta, yo no sé lo qu'aquí va a pasar ... y yo he dicho como er tío mangalo, que tié muncha lletra menúa no me saque, naide me saca ... ná qu'aboa mesmo voy a tirarme ar tío Migalo ... (Díaz Cassou 1982:  247)

Hará un año por abora, qu'er Perraneo qu'us platica dio las destruciones convienientes pa debitar quasiquier gallomatías que, con motigo e las carrestuliendas, pudiá cometer angún alarbe o lechubino, con sus asnáas.  Los bolatines y leyendas der Coigo con toas sus penas y responsabilidades jueron pegás con gachetas en la puerta e las ermitas, pa que denguno delegara alluego iznorancia.  Pos bien, con tuisiquias estas midías, no se devitó que sa cometieran angunas blafemaciones y encorbilamientos por presonas qu sigún supe impués, iban bebías (Díaz Cassou 1982:  275)

 

Poem transcribed in Huéscar (Granada) in 1954 (Alvar 1960: 492-3):

 

Abran lah pueltah del templo

que venimoh adoral

Santísimo Sacramento

qu'ehtá puehto en el altal.

Agua bendita tomamoh

cuando entramoh en el templo

con eya noh santiguamoh

Santísimo Sacramento.

 

From Cartagena (García Martínez 1960:  130):

 

"Crecersus ymurtiplicarsus"

ijo Dios al paere Adán

ya nuestra mare la Eva

nel paraíso tierrenar.

Pero no ijo ¡matarsus!

porqués pecao mortar.