Fronted high back vowel /u/

Gordon, Matthew J. GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Sun Dec 20 17:25:41 UTC 2009

This sounds like pretty classic Southern Shift: back vowel fronting + raising of /E/ and /I/. The only thing odd would be the direction of the glide. When diphthongal, the lax vowels in the SoShift usually have central/schwa offglides if I recall correctly.

Fronting of /u/ (and /o/) is found pretty much everywhere in the US except for the Inland North (e.g. the Great Lakes region).

-Matt Gordon
From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Randall Gess [randall_gess at CARLETON.CA]
Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2009 8:38 AM
Subject: Fronted high back vowel /u/


I'm new to the list. I've just started doing volunteer work on
occasion for a victim identification unit of law enforcement. I have a
recording with a male North American speaker that has a rather
fronted /u/ sound (F1 395, F2 1816), in the word 'movie'. I've heard
this kind of fronting before, but does anyone know how widespread it
is geographically? The /E/  in leg is also a bit raised at F1 550, F2
1942 and slightly diphthongized toward /ei/, but this is not as
pronounced as I've heard in some accents. Does anyone know where these
features might co-occur?



Language: Defining dreams for millennia.

Randall Gess
Professor and Director
School of Linguistics and Language Studies
215 Paterson Hall, Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa ON K1S 5B6
Tel: (613) 520-6612  Fax: (613) 520-6641
Email: randall_gess at


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