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Re: US Northern Cities Vowel Shift

From:Thomas R. Wier <artabanos@...>
Date:Friday, August 25, 2000, 19:08
BP Jonsson wrote:

> Can someone on this list please provide a concise description of the > so-called US Northern Cities Vowel Shift?
Concise? The best place to get a description of it is Labov's own website, at: <> The diagrams on that page pretty much explain both the Northern Shift and the Southern Shift. To put it concisely, these shifts are chain shifts, where the phonemic shift of one vowel triggers a change in the entire vowel system, which was precisely what happened during the Great Vowel Shift in the 1300s. In the North, the shift is clockwise, so to speak: /E/ shifts to /V/, which shifts to /O/, which shifts to /A/, and so forth. The Southern shift goes in the opposite direction. ====================================== Tom Wier | "Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero." ======================================