California Vowel Shift

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California Vowel Shift

Postby Gormur » 2006-01-01, 5:02

If I understand it correctly, this is what a typical speaker sounds like with the California Vowel Shift:

http://media.putfile.com/Calif71
http://media.putfile.com/Calif4

I know quite a few people who speak this way, including some people over 40yrs old, which I guess would go against the theory of it being a very recent thing. Not sure how much I display of the shift if I display any features of it at all. This is me speaking in a normal speaking voice....

http://media.putfile.com/Gormurspeaks

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Re: California Vowel Shift

Postby Rom » 2006-01-01, 19:07

Gormur wrote:If I understand it correctly, this is what a typical speaker sounds like with the California Vowel Shift:

http://media.putfile.com/Calif71
http://media.putfile.com/Calif4

I know quite a few people who speak this way, including some people over 40yrs old, which I guess would go against the theory of it being a very recent thing. Not sure how much I display of the shift if I display any features of it at all. This is me speaking in a normal speaking voice....

http://media.putfile.com/Gormurspeaks


The first two files were too soft for me to be able to hear what they were saying, but I could hear your recording. Here are the things that I thought sounded different than an unshifted "General American" accent:
actually (closer to an "ah" sound)
standard (sounded like stahndard)
sound (sounded like suhoond)
different (almost sounded like defferent)
midwestern (sounded like midwastern)

I just met someone from Olympia, Washington here in Tokyo, whose accent sounded quite similar to yours. I was surprised, because I had never heard someone from Olympia before, and I just assumed they would sound just like people from Seattle, Washington (I've been there many times and I think is one of the few places in the continent with no vowel shift going on: No Northern Cities vowel shift, no Canadian vowel shift except perhaps cot->caught, no Californian vowel shift and of course no Southern shift). But her accent was different. All of her "e" sounds consistently sounded like the "a" in "hat" (like you had when you said the word "Midwest"), and she had Canadian raising on words like "sound", and "tire", and many two syllable words. But she did not pronounce her a's more like "ah" very consistently--sometimes they almost sounded like someone from Chicago (but not quite), nor did she pronounce "different" as "defferent".

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Postby Rom » 2006-01-01, 20:06

By the way, does the California shift extend to any other states in the Southwest?

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Re: California Vowel Shift

Postby Kirk » 2006-01-02, 3:35

Gormur wrote:If I understand it correctly, this is what a typical speaker sounds like with the California Vowel Shift:

http://media.putfile.com/Calif71
http://media.putfile.com/Calif4

I know quite a few people who speak this way, including some people over 40yrs old, which I guess would go against the theory of it being a very recent thing.


Those clips sounded pretty normal for here (they'd be what I'd call pretty "unaccented" from my viewpoint as a California speaker), but they didn't seem that progressive along the lines of the CVS. They did have fronted /u/, however, which is typical of here but I'm not sure if I'd include it in the CVS since it doesn't take anything's spot or leave room for another vowel to fill in the old spot as happens with the other ones. I'd say it's a separate feature of English as spoken here.

Gormur wrote:Not sure how much I display of the shift if I display any features of it at all. This is me speaking in a normal speaking voice....

http://media.putfile.com/Gormurspeaks


Cool recording--you sound very Canadian to my ears, altho I could tell you do have a mix of features in your speech. One thing that sticks out particularly is your back and highly rounded /o/ which is unheard of here. You also display some Canadian Raising.

Rom wrote:By the way, does the California shift extend to any other states in the Southwest?


Not sure. But I wouldn't be surprised if some of its influence could be heard in places like Phoenix and Las Vegas, which have experienced large influxes of Californians in recent years and decades.
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Re: California Vowel Shift

Postby Gormur » 2006-01-02, 20:51

Kirk wrote:Those clips sounded pretty normal for here (they'd be what I'd call pretty "unaccented" from my viewpoint as a California speaker), but they didn't seem that progressive along the lines of the CVS. They did have fronted /u/, however, which is typical of here but I'm not sure if I'd include it in the CVS since it doesn't take anything's spot or leave room for another vowel to fill in the old spot as happens with the other ones. I'd say it's a separate feature of English as spoken here.


Ok, interesting. Then maybe I don't know anyone who is a progressive CVS speaker because I'm trying to picture what it would sound like, and have no idea...
:?

One thing that sticks out particularly is your back and highly rounded /o/ which is unheard of here.


Wow, interesting. That must be something new I've picked up along the way -- either that or I've had it all along, for whatever reason...

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Re: California Vowel Shift

Postby Kirk » 2006-01-02, 22:15

Gormur wrote:
Kirk wrote:Those clips sounded pretty normal for here (they'd be what I'd call pretty "unaccented" from my viewpoint as a California speaker), but they didn't seem that progressive along the lines of the CVS. They did have fronted /u/, however, which is typical of here but I'm not sure if I'd include it in the CVS since it doesn't take anything's spot or leave room for another vowel to fill in the old spot as happens with the other ones. I'd say it's a separate feature of English as spoken here.


Ok, interesting. Then maybe I don't know anyone who is a progressive CVS speaker because I'm trying to picture what it would sound like, and have no idea...
:?



This isn't a recording of continuous speech but this site does have audio clips of some super-progressive CVS speakers (adolescent girls in the Bay Area). One thing to note is that these examples are pretty extreme but they are indicative of a larger trend thruout the state (tho few are currently as progressive as those teenage girls, who seem to be exaggerating already-existent trends). I hear influence of the CVS every day in my speech and in others' speech around me, but as with any chain shift there are more progressive and less progressive speakers and often more progressive forms are limited-context-bound initially before spreading to become the general forms.

For anyone who's interested in a basic overview of the California Vowel Shift (as well as a couple of other shifts in North American English), PBS has a great page here.

The issue of age as related to the CVS is an interesting one. As a relatively new shift (or one that's new in terms of being widespread) it's obviously much stronger in younger people, but I've heard traces of it in middle-aged people as well. For instance, I'm home for winter break and just a few minutes ago I heard my 49-year old mom (she's a Bay Area native, which might be relevant, since the urban areas of California tend to be more progressive along the shift) realize a pretty low /ɛ/, approaching /æ/, which is one of the specific vowel shifts that occurs as part of the CVS. She's not by any means a progressive CVS speaker but she still has traces of it. Interestingly, I've noticed few or no traces of the CVS in the speech of my 49-year old dad, who is also a Bay Area native.

As shifts spread they affect more and more people in more and more situations, and that includes moving across generational lines as well. For example, the Northern Cities Vowel Shift, now past its infancy of the 1950s and 60s, is common across the generations, while younger speakers do tend to lead some of the changes or become more progressive in them. This makes sense as they're just building upon trends which were already existent in the previous generation. I suspect a pattern similar to the NCVS one will be seen with the CVS--it's just that the CVS is currently in a relatively young stage likely akin to the NCVS in the 1960s when it was first noticed and described by linguists (tho the notion of the changes here as being part of a unified vowel shift is very recent, some of the features of the CVS were first noticed and described in the 1980s and more and more good research has been coming out on the CVS recently).

Gormur wrote:
One thing that sticks out particularly is your back and highly rounded /o/ which is unheard of here.


Wow, interesting. That must be something new I've picked up along the way -- either that or I've had it all along, for whatever reason...


Yeah, it is interesting. You certainly have an interesting linguistic background (especially with influences from North Dakota English, which does have that back and highly rounded /o/) so it's not too surprising, I guess.E
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Re: California Vowel Shift

Postby Gormur » 2006-01-04, 0:29

Kirk wrote:This isn't a recording of continuous speech butthis site does have audio clips of some super-progressive CVS speakers (adolescent girls in the Bay Area). One thing to note is that these examples are pretty extreme but they are indicative of a larger trend thruout the state (tho few are currently as progressive as those teenage girls, who seem to be exaggerating already-existent trends).


The link seems to be dead, though I found a brief interview about the CVS here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1693373 I definitely hear this vowel lowering, though far more frequently in female speakers than in male speakers. The lowering of "oo" as in the words "movie" and "move", i.e., seem to be used for some type of emotional emphasis (sarcasm, derisiveness, negativity, etc) -- as discussed in the interview.

Listening to my speech when conversing w/2 of my friends, I notice that I use an "a" like that described in the interview -- illustrated by the particular CVS pronunciation of the word "stand" (it is a lower sound from the GAE sound), and my "ou" (as in "out", "about") is unrounded, "i" in "did" is similar to "e" in "dead" and "bed", "i" in "thinking" is like "ee" in "feed" or "weed". I'll see if I can put it up on here -- I recorded it on my handheld recorder.

In any case, I doubt I'm a very progressive speaker. This leads me to think it's more area-specific, and maybe hasn't "penetrated" certain areas as much as others, particularly San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire. I know growing up that I could hear a difference between people in my area (native to the area, anyway) and LA natives. I could never quite figure out why, but it may well have something to do with the CVS being more prevalent there and/or in a more advanced stage.

the Northern Cities Vowel Shift, now past its infancy of the 1950s and 60s, is common across the generations, while younger speakers do tend to lead some of the changes or become more progressive in them. This makes sense as they're just building upon trends which were already existent in the previous generation.


I think my family must be the exception because they live fairly isolated and aren't in a very diverse area in terms of demographics (over 70% of the population of their county are of Norwegian background, the remaining are of German, Danish, and Polish descent, around 1% are in the "other" category, and a good majority of the population share similar family names and are related). Most of them display features from Norwegian and borrow expressions from it when speaking English (they call North Dakota the "Uffda State" for a reason) - there are a few of my family (about 6 people) which don't speak Norwegian as their first language (they grew up in Minnesota) and learned it as a 2nd language. They do display some features of the NVS, interestingly enough. This could also be because the NVS is more wide-spread and advanced in Minnesota than in ND (where the largest city is Fargo - a city of around 180,000 people).

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Re: California Vowel Shift

Postby Gormur » 2006-01-04, 1:38

Rom wrote:Here are the things that I thought sounded different than an unshifted "General American" accent:
actually (closer to an "ah" sound)
standard (sounded like stahndard)
sound (sounded like suhoond)
different (almost sounded like defferent)
midwestern (sounded like midwastern)


Sorry, I just saw this now (I've been sick, so I'm kind of slow to notice things right now). Ok, interesting. If this is correct, then I apparently follow the CVS in more ways than I'd previously thought. I guess what makes me sound non-Californian is my Canadian raising. Bah, my speech is all over the place. :lol:

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Re: California Vowel Shift

Postby Kirk » 2006-01-04, 3:16

Gormur wrote:
Kirk wrote:This isn't a recording of continuous speech butthis site does have audio clips of some super-progressive CVS speakers (adolescent girls in the Bay Area). One thing to note is that these examples are pretty extreme but they are indicative of a larger trend thruout the state (tho few are currently as progressive as those teenage girls, who seem to be exaggerating already-existent trends).


The link seems to be dead, though I found a brief interview about the CVS here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1693373 I definitely hear this vowel lowering, though far more frequently in female speakers than in male speakers.


Yes, females are usually more progressive but the overall pattern is visible for both males and females (usually the males eventually catch up).

Gormur wrote:The lowering of "oo" as in the words "movie" and "move", i.e., seem to be used for some type of emotional emphasis (sarcasm, derisiveness, negativity, etc) -- as discussed in the interview.


Yes, Eckert mentions "drama speech" as the kind that really draws out the more progressive forms. But of course, the fronting and unrounding of /u/ (it's not lowered, by the way, as it still remains a high vowel in the vowel space) is an overall general trend here as in many other places.

Gormur wrote:Listening to my speech when conversing w/2 of my friends, I notice that I use an "a" like that described in the interview -- illustrated by the particular CVS pronunciation of the word "stand" (it is a lower sound from the GAE sound),


Well, here, for a progressive CVS speaker you'd expect it actually to be higher because before nasal stops the phoneme /æ/ raises and diphthongizes to [eə]. However, in other cases /æ/ does lower towards /a/. In my speech I personally have much more /æ/ lowering towards /a/ than the raising in the pre-nasal-stop environment (tho, with an unrelated phenomenon, it does raise before /ŋ/). This may be a gender difference as I've heard /æn/ --> [eən] much more often in females here. Interestingly, it is worth noting my /æn/, while not usually raising to [eən], is barred from moving down to *[an], so obviously there's something about the pre-nasal environment which discourages lowering there even if no raising occurs. Thus, for me, I can have:

"back" [bæk] or [bak] or something in between
"bat" [bæt] or [bat] or something in between
"ban" [bæn], but never *[ban], rarely [beən]

Gormur wrote:and my "ou" (as in "out", "about") is unrounded, "i" in "did" is similar to "e" in "dead" and "bed", "i" in "thinking" is like "ee" in "feed" or "weed".


Yeah, in California many speakers have front-vowel raising before /ŋ/, as I've mentioned before. I also have [i] in "think" as compared to [ɪ] in "thin."

Gormur wrote:In any case, I doubt I'm a very progressive speaker. This leads me to think it's more area-specific, and maybe hasn't "penetrated" certain areas as much as others, particularly San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire. I know growing up that I could hear a difference between people in my area (native to the area, anyway) and LA natives. I could never quite figure out why, but it may well have something to do with the CVS being more prevalent there and/or in a more advanced stage.


It's definitely true that while it's spreading, it can take awhile for changes to reach everyone. Researchers on the NCVS have often found that the most progressive forms of the NCVS tend to "skip" between urban areas while the rural areas are either unaffected or take awhile to catch up (and in turn often arrive at somewhat different results than the urban ones even after the advent of the change in question). Even in an area which is the locus of the change, some speakers resist the change longer than others or resist it entirely (obviously, a lot of sociological factors are involved here which I won't go into).

I think the fact that the CVS has been noted in the major urban areas in California (So and Nor Cal) is no coincidence, as there tends to be a relatively high rate of exchange in population between places like the Bay Area and LA, even tho they're several hundred miles apart. Meanwhile, you're less likely to hear the CVS as widespread outside the main urban areas. What's interesting is that some of my friends from my hometown (which is not in a predominantly urban area but is close to the Bay Area and Sacramento areas) are actually some of the most progressive CVS speakers I know, but this makes sense as they either work in the Bay Area or spend a lot of time there, and unconsciously bring back the newer forms with them.

Gormur wrote:
the Northern Cities Vowel Shift, now past its infancy of the 1950s and 60s, is common across the generations, while younger speakers do tend to lead some of the changes or become more progressive in them. This makes sense as they're just building upon trends which were already existent in the previous generation.


I think my family must be the exception because they live fairly isolated and aren't in a very diverse area in terms of demographics (over 70% of the population of their county are of Norwegian background, the remaining are of German, Danish, and Polish descent, around 1% are in the "other" category, and a good majority of the population share similar family names and are related). Most of them display features from Norwegian and borrow expressions from it when speaking English (they call North Dakota the "Uffda State" for a reason) - there are a few of my family (about 6 people) which don't speak Norwegian as their first language (they grew up in Minnesota) and learned it as a 2nd language. They do display some features of the NVS, interestingly enough. This could also be because the NVS is more wide-spread and advanced in Minnesota than in ND (where the largest city is Fargo - a city of around 180,000 people).


Yes, the matter of social relations is of course a big factor. When shifts spread, they don't reach everyone at first. First there are a few progressive speakers, who will be imitated if enough people admire them or at least hold them in relatively high esteem and subconsciously imitate the new forms (or at least register the more progressive forms as a new limit for what may be interpreted as the sound in question). The fascinating thing is this all happens almost entirely subconsciously and few consciously notice the changes.
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Postby Kirk » 2006-01-06, 9:20

Rom wrote:By the way, does the California shift extend to any other states in the Southwest?


Apparently some of the patterns seen in California have been noted in Oregon, Utah, and Arizona, altho there may be local variations on the theme. I just read an interesting paper on the nature of /o/ and /u/ raising and pre-nasal /æ/ raising in Northern Arizona. What's interesting is it appears there's been a convergence of features there. The traditional rural dialect in Flagstaff (the area examined) already had /u/ fronting, but not /o/ fronting or pre-nasal /æ/ raising, which are due to California influence of a relatively recent nature (the older rural people do not have such while the younger urban people do). So it appears these features (especially amongst urban speakers) have been spreading across state lines from California. This surely has to do with the relatively high exchange of population between the urban areas of the West as well as the fact that there has been large-scale California emigration in recent decades to areas like Arizona.

However, lest we confuse the Pacific Northwest with the West, researchers have found that in places like Seattle, Washington there has not been much /o/ and /u/ fronting and pre-nasal /æ/ raising, while these are happening as far north as Portland, Oregon. While Portland is probably still close enough to California to participate in some of those features, by the time you get to Seattle it's probably too far away to take place in the shifts going on in the lower West (and is in fact going thru its own changes that places like California are not participating in).

Here is a good intro to some of the features going on in Portland and here's one on the changes going on in the Seattle area.

This is all really interesting stuff. What we're seeing here are the proto-forms of what will surely become more marked regional dialects as time goes on. If trends continue we might expect a continuum of features going down from Seattle to San Diego and across to places like Flagstaff and Salt Lake City. Going from one town to the next you might not notice any big differences but once you traveled several hundred miles you would probably begin to notice some differences. For instance, as it is we're already seeing changes going on in Seattle that are not being seen in Portland and vice versa and they're only 140 or so miles apart. I would assume that a lot of the features of those areas would be the same but even the distance between them apparently proves enough to already merit different emerging dialectal features.
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Postby Gormur » 2006-01-06, 22:52

Well that makes sense. Oregon has had one of the largest influxes of Californians of any state, if not the largest. I have lots of friends "up there" now.

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Postby Kirk » 2006-01-07, 0:26

Gormur wrote:Well that makes sense. Oregon has had one of the largest influxes of Californians of any state, if not the largest. I have lots of friends "up there" now.


Yeah I know several people who've moved from California to Portland recently.
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Postby Kirk » 2006-01-10, 23:51

Ok, well I got the book I was talking about earlier! It's very interesting so far. Here are a couple excerpts:

In 1941, linguist David DeCamp proclaimed that California English was no different fron the English of the East Coast. But, over the decades since the 1940s, a distinctive accent has developed among much of the population in the state.


Yes, now with a stable history of settlement, the foundations for a new dialect have been laid and have begun to grow and develop.

It is important to remember that California is a new state. It takes time and a community to develop common ways of speaking, and English speakers have not been setteld in California long enough to develop the kind of dialect depth that is apparent in the East Coast and the Midwest.


Right. Even tho we're just beginning to see the emergence of noticeable regional patterns here, it could take decades for it to be a system comparable to what we currently see in the Midwest and other areas. My guess is that as the urban areas work together in going thru common shifts, outlying areas will take on some of the changes but maybe not all in the same ways. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if in the long term consistent So-Cal vs. Nor-Cal dialect differences emerged (especially phonologically speaking, as right now the few negligible differences are bound to a few lexical items).

The chain shift occurring in California, although relatively early in its progress, will have a lasting effect on the system, eventually resulting in significant differences from other dialects.

Innovative developments in the stereotypical California linguistic system may be so new as to be restricted to certain speech settings, with the most extreme pronunciations evident only in peer-group youth interactions. It is precisely these interactions that are the crux of stylistic development, and that is why linguists in California are spending considerable energy studying young people


Exactly. That perfectly describes the situation for me. I can shift between more conservative vowels and more progressive ones along the shift, and they tend to be most extreme and progressive when I'm with my friends my age.

Anyway, this is a very interesting book and I can't wait to read more...
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Postby Tom K. » 2006-01-12, 3:52

This is interesting stuff. I'm in Monterey now (almost 2 hours south of San Francisco), and I've heard people with this shift around the Del Monte Center (our outdoor equivalent of a mall) and in the mall in Salinas. Yes, it's mostly teenage girls who have it now.

Has anyone else noticed some certain vowel mergers in southern California? I recently had a roommate from there who consistently pronounced "pen" like "pin" and "feel" like "fill." I don't know if anyone has these mergers up here, because the only speech I hear is just a second or two I hear whenever I happen to walk by someone.
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Postby Kirk » 2006-01-12, 9:05

Tom K. wrote:This is interesting stuff. I'm in Monterey now (almost 2 hours south of San Francisco), and I've heard people with this shift around the Del Monte Center (our outdoor equivalent of a mall) and in the mall in Salinas. Yes, it's mostly teenage girls who have it now.


Well, maybe in Salinas. It's usually younger females who pick up on the change first in an area and continue with it most progressively, while others lead. However, I've heard evidence of the CVS in speakers up to middle age (even if they weren't progressive along the shift) and in males and females. What's interesting is that the most progressive (or extreme, depending on how you look at it) features of the chain shift may be found in young females but they appear to be exaggerations of trends that already exist for many others. For me, I'm a male (and at 21 I guess that means I'm young) and compared to the population as a whole I can be pretty progressive along the lines of the CVS, especially in certain circumstances, but the features are more extreme in the speech of some females of my age.

Tom K. wrote:Has anyone else noticed some certain vowel mergers in southern California? I recently had a roommate from there who consistently pronounced "pen" like "pin" and "feel" like "fill." I don't know if anyone has these mergers up here, because the only speech I hear is just a second or two I hear whenever I happen to walk by someone.


The "pin-pen" merger does occur for some speakers in California, but not for others (I don't have the merger). However, one thing I should mention is that especially in high-frequency function words /ɛn/ -> [ɪn] may occur for many/most speakers. So, for instance, when I say "when" in normal speech it's homomophonous with my "win." However, I would hesitate to call this a merger because it seems to only apply to such high-frequency words while other pairs like "meant" and "mint" or "Ben" and "bin" are never the same. They would be the same if it were a true merger because it would apply to all or most instances of the phonological environment. Since there are very few people here who would merge those pairs I wouldn't really call it a merger. For this reason some dialect maps mark California as "pin-pen" transitionally merged and some make no mention of it.

This also applies to "feel-fill." In normal speech I pronounce "feel" as [fɪɫ], but this is not indicative of a true merger because other word pairs like "deal/dill" "meal/mill" "seal/sill" are very separate as I say them. I attribute the commonness of a few words like "feel" and "real" (which is usually [ɹɪɫ] for me) as exceptions, probably because they tend to be relatively frequent words.
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Postby Gormur » 2006-01-12, 19:02

Kirk wrote:I've heard evidence of the CVS in speakers up to middle age (even if they weren't progressive along the shift)


My dad has some CVS features. He's mid-40s.

when I say "when" in normal speech it's homomophonous with my "win."


Mine is more like [wæn], I think. I still can't see IPA, so it's a bit confusing. :?

This also applies to "feel-fill." In normal speech I pronounce "feel" as [fɪɫ], but this is not indicative of a true merger because other word pairs like "deal/dill" "meal/mill" "seal/sill" are very separate as I say them.


I think it depends on context and speed for me. Sometimes they're merged and other times distinguished.
Eigi gegnir þat at segja at bók nøkkur er hreinferðug eðr ønnur spelluð því at vandliga ok dáliga eru bœkr ritnar ok annat kunnum vér eigi um þœr at dœma

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Postby Kirk » 2006-01-13, 23:54

Gormur wrote:
Kirk wrote:I've heard evidence of the CVS in speakers up to middle age (even if they weren't progressive along the shift)


My dad has some CVS features. He's mid-40s.


Interesting. I've occasionally heard some CVS influences in people that age, tho it's certainly not the norm.

Gormur wrote:
when I say "when" in normal speech it's homomophonous with my "win."


Mine is more like [wæn], I think. I still can't see IPA, so it's a bit confusing. :?

This also applies to "feel-fill." In normal speech I pronounce "feel" as [fɪɫ], but this is not indicative of a true merger because other word pairs like "deal/dill" "meal/mill" "seal/sill" are very separate as I say them. I think it depends on context and speed for me. Sometimes they're merged and other times distinguished.


Very interesting.

Speaking of the CVS, Last night when I was ordering a pepperoni pizza I realized right after I said it that I had full-on [æ] for the first vowel in "pepperoni" instead of [ɛ] (so, using spelling I said "papperoni"). I was even surprised at how low it was, since for me it's not normally [æ] but more like a lowered [ɛ]. But that goes to show the possible range for vowels that are going thru a comprehensive chain shift.
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'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

I eat prescriptivists for breakfast.

maɪ nemz kʰɜ˞kʰ n̩ aɪ laɪk̚ fɨˈnɛ̞ɾɪ̞ks

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Postby Gormur » 2006-01-14, 4:33

Kirk wrote:Interesting. I've occasionally heard some CVS influences in people that age, tho it's certainly not the norm.


My mom has it when she says stuff like "move", "news", "phone", and in the case of lowering "e" to [æ], of course. I actually didn't notice this till I heard her talking to a native Californian (co-worker), so I guess that makes sense.
Eigi gegnir þat at segja at bók nøkkur er hreinferðug eðr ønnur spelluð því at vandliga ok dáliga eru bœkr ritnar ok annat kunnum vér eigi um þœr at dœma

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Postby Rom » 2006-01-16, 16:37

Interestingly, it is worth noting my /æn/, while not usually raising to [eən], is barred from moving down to *[an], so obviously there's something about the pre-nasal environment which discourages lowering there even if no raising occurs.

Really? I've been watching the Star Trek original series (and I think they're from California) and I've noticed that many of the characters do this: Spock says: "This is the stahndard".

Last night when I was ordering a pepperoni pizza I realized right after I said it that I had full-on [æ] for the first vowel in "pepperoni" instead of [ɛ] (so, using spelling I said "papperoni"). I was even surprised at how low it was, since for me it's not normally [æ] but more like a lowered [ɛ]. But that goes to show the possible range for vowels that are going thru a comprehensive chain shift.

I think California must have a great influence even on Washington, because I've noticed several speakers in Lake Forest Park who practically always say [æ] for [ɛ]: "I need to use that dask."

This also applies to "feel-fill." In normal speech I pronounce "feel" as [fɪɫ], but this is not indicative of a true merger because other word pairs like "deal/dill" "meal/mill" "seal/sill" are very separate as I say them.

I don't think I've ever merged feel and fill.


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