GENDER IN LANGUAGE PROJECT
PRONUNCIATION OF THE X
One of the most widely used gender-inclusive Spanish forms is the x morpheme. Many people believe that the x is incompatible with Spanish phonology. However, attested pronunciations of the x in speech show that it is produced by speakers in ways that are compatible with the rules of Spanish phonology. The [ks] sound is often pronounced with the insertion of a vowel (IPA: [eks] by native speakers, [ɛks] by nonnative speakers whose native language is English), and the x is also pronounced as the vowel [e].
Spanish syllabification consists of three parts, onset, coda, and nucleus. According to the rules of the language, the nucleus of a syllable MUST be a vowel, resulting in syllables following the patterns:
a, y, o
la, de, me
el, al, en
los, las, les
The possibility of diphthongs being the nucleus also allows VV (e.g. leo -> CVV) in place of V.
For plural forms using the gender-inclusive x, there are also multiple attested pronunciations. Written forms follow the Standard Spanish rule of adding -s to make the word plural (e.g. latinxs), however when it comes to pronunciation, the [e] is often used to avoid additional vowel insertion (e.g. [eks.es], [ɛks.ɨz]:
PRONUNCIATION OF VOCALIC MORPHEMES (-E, -I, -U)
Unlike the x, these morphemes tend to be less disputed as they do not present problems for Standard Spanish phonology (syllabification or pluralization) and behave like canonical gender morphemes (e.g. o, a). Some believe the e to be the most 'phonologically natural' option because it is phonetically closer to both [a] and [o] than [i] and [u] which are both higher. The morpheme e is also an extant gender morpheme in the language. Gender-inclusive reform proposals to use the e morpheme further extend its 'neutral' usage, making it the most widely used of the three innovative vocaliv morphemes.