Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Early trends in a newly developing variety of english

David Bowie


During the nineteenth century, English-speaking natives of Utah exhibited variation in three phonological variables (among others): the cot-caught merger, the cord-card merger, and //ai//-monophthongization. Based on an analysis of audio recordings of twenty-six natives of Utah born during the nineteenth century, changes in these variables over apparent time are tracked. The analysis
finds a trend toward completion of the two mergers and increased /ai/-monophthongization. This is contrasted with the current situation, in which the cot-caught merger has progressed to a state of completion in perception and very small differences in production, the cord-card merger is being abandoned, and /ai/-monophthongization exists only at a very low level. Possible reasons for this include a movement toward regional rather than local norms resulting from greater contact between varieties in
the Intermountain West during the twentieth century

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