I'd like to know the classification for these sounds: g, c, z and s as in gitano, trencito, zorro and casa, in Latino American Spanish. For instance, which ones are fricatives, or affricates, etc.


The IPA symbols [ɡ, c] are termed "plosives", and [z, s] are "fricatives". This is true no matter what language you are talking about. There is no IPA category "affricate", although phoneticians do talk about such things (from the IPA perspective, they are sequences of plosive plus fricative). However, the letters g, c, z, s used in Spanish spelling are not used as IPA symbols (and g is not an IPA symbol at all). I believe that the letters z, s as used in Spanish always stand for fricatives, whereas the letters g, c can stand for many different things, especially c. Your question is about the letters used in spelling Spanish, which have some relation to phonemes, which in turn have some relation to IPA transcriptional symbols – "gitano" only contains letters, not sounds, and those letters represent certain sounds.

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    A bit confusing to write "g is not an IPA symbol at all" when the default typeface for this site uses single-story g (I think you were talking about the preference to avoid two-story g in IPA, right?) – brass tacks Oct 7 '17 at 22:17
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    It is a nuisance that g=67 sometimes appears the same as ɡ=261, depending on the font used to render the text (likewise [a] and [ɑ] vs. italic [a] and [ɑ], though here the distinction is kept unlike Times-based web pages. – user6726 Oct 7 '17 at 22:49
  • Interestingly, in my browser they still look different, though very similar. g ɡ – tobiornottobi Dec 15 '18 at 16:25

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