LSA.218 Sound
change in progress
LSA.218
Transmission and
diffusion
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Linguistic Institute
Cambridge July 2005
Family tree and wave models of linguistic change
The family tree model has been the principal guide and major
output of the comparative method. Yet all linguists agree that
there are some situations where the effects of a wave model
must be recognized, registering the influence of distinct terminal
branches of the tree on one another.
Best Indo-European family tree (Ringe, Warnow & Taylor 2002)
A definition of linguistic descent (transmission)
A language (or dialect) Y at a given time is said to be
descended from language (or dialect) X of an earlier time if
and only if X developed into Y by an unbroken sequence of
instances of native-language acquisition by children.
--Ringe, Warnow and Taylor p. 63
Transmission the result of incrementation
This is the normal type of internal language change, “change from
below,” which is responsible for increasing distances between the
branches over time.
Such internal changes are generated by the process of
incrementation, in which successive cohorts and generations of
children advance the change beyond the level of their caretakers and
role models, and in the same direction over many generations (Labov
1994: Ch. 14).
The mechanism of incrementation
Incrementation begins with the faithful transmission of the
adult system, including variable elements with their linguistic and
social constraints (Labov 1989, Roberts 1993).
These variable elements are then advanced further in the
direction indicated by the inherited age vectors.
The incrementation of the change may take the form of
increases in frequency, extent, scope or specificity of a variable.
Though internal changes may simplify the system (as in
mergers), they normally maintain structural contrasts (as in chain
shifts) or increase it (as in splits).
Fronting of (aw) by age with partial regression lines for sex in
Philadelphia Neighborhood Study [N=112]
Regression analyses of fronting of (aw) of men and women by decade in
the Philadelphia Neighborhood Study [N=112]
F2 constant + age*F2 age coefficient
2200
2100
2000
WOMEN:
slope = -5. 38
r2=.961
1900
1800
1700
1600
Under 20
MEN:
slope = -6. 60
r2=.788
20-29
30-39
40-49
50-59
60-
A definition of diffusion
We also observe changes that diminish the distances between
branches of the family tree. This may happen spontaneously,
when parallel branches converge through independently
motivated changes, but more often it is the result of contact
between the speech communities involved and the transfer of
features from one to the other. This transfer across branches
of the family tree is here designated linguistic diffusion.
Best family tree with indications of contact between Germanic and Italo-Celtic
--Ringe, Warnow &
Taylor 2002
Constraints against structural diffusion
RWT argue for a strong linguistic constraint against structural borrowing.
They state that the essential condition for the family tree model is that
morphosyntactic structures are faithfully transmitted across generations, and
are not transferred from language to language in normal linguistic
development.
Though most language contact situations lead to unidirectional, rather
than bidirectional linguistic results, conditioned by the social
circumstances, it is also the case that linguistic structure overwhelmingly
conditions the linguistic outcomes. Morphology and syntax are clearly
the domains of linguistic structure least susceptible to the influence of
contact, and this statistical generalization is not vitiated by a few
exceptional cases.
--Gillian Sankoff, Age: Apparent Time and Real Time. Elsevier
Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, in pres..
Accounting for the difference between transmission and diffusion.
It is proposed here that the contrast in patterns of
transmission within and across languages is the result of
two different kinds of language learning. On the one hand,
transmission is the product of the acquisition of language
by young children. On the other hand, the limitations on
diffusion are the result of the fact that most language
contact is largely between and among adults. It is proposed
here that structural patterns are not as likely to be diffused
because adults do not learn and reproduce linguistic forms,
rules and constraints with the accuracy and speed that
children display
Lowering of /æ/ on Brunlanes peninsula: Speakers age 70-
Trudgill 1974: Map 3.7
Lowering of /æ/ on Brunlanes peninsula: Speakers age 25-69-
Trudgill 1974: Map 3.8
Two models of linguistic diffusion
The cascade model: change originates in the largest
city, diffuses to the next largest city, and so to
successively smaller cities.
The gravity model: the influence of one city on
another is directly proportionate to population size
and inversely proportionate to the square of the
distance between them (Trudgill 1974)
Question:
Why does change diffuse in a stronger form
within the metropolis, but in a weaker form to
communities without?
The metropolis of Tehran [500,000] and the neighboring
capital of Ghazvin province, [distance: 150 km]
Tehran
Ghazvin
Percent raising of /a/ to /u/ in the Farsi of Tehran and
Ghazvin by age and style.
80
70
60
50
T ehran 10-19
T ehran 20-29
40
T eheran over 50
Ghazvin 10 to 29
Ghazvin over 50
30
20
10
0
Cas ual
Careful
Readi ng
Word lis ts
Mini mal pairs
Source: Modaressi 1978
Percent raising of /a/ to [u] before nasals by years of
education in the Farsi of Teheran and Ghazvin
100
90
80
70
60
Teher an
50
Ghazvin
40
30
20
10
0
Some colleg e
10-12 year s
7-9 year s
under 7 years
Source: Modaressi 1978
Short-a systems in North American dialects
All North American dialects show a differentiation of the short-a class into tense
and lax forms (ANAE: Ch. 13). There are five basic types:
a.
The nasal system, All short-a before nasal consonants are
raised and fronted (man, manage, span, Spanish) while all others
remain in low front position.
b.
Raised short-a. All words with historical short-a are raised and
fronted to mid and high position. Found only in the Inland North..
c.
Continuous short-a raising. Short-a words are variably raised
and fronted, with vowels before nasal codas leading and vowels before
voiceless stops and words with obstruents/liquid onsets (glass, brag)
remaining in low front position..
d.
Southern breaking. Breaking of short-a into a low front
nucleus, palatal glide and following inglide in the Southern dialect area.
e.
Split short-a systems. A phonemic split between tense and lax
short-a is found in New York City and the Mid-Atlantic states, with
distribution dictated by phonological, grammatical, stylistic and lexical
conditions.
Eastern N.E. nasal short-a system: Diane S., 37, Providence, RI
General raising of short-a in the Northern Cities Shift: Donna K., 34,
Syracuse NY: highlighted symbols indicate following nasals
/æh/
tense
New York City short-a pattern:
tensing in closed syllables
p
t
c&
k
b
d
j&
badge
g
m
f
v
cab
ham
half
n
T
s
mad
man
bath pass
D
z
l
N
s&
cash
z&
r
bag
Further constraints on tensing of short-a in New York City
Function words (an, and, I can, had) are lax while corresponding content
words are tense (tin can, hand, add), with the exception of can’t, which
remains tense.
Short-a is lax in open syllables, so that we have tense ham, plan, cash but
lax hammer, planet, cashew).
Syllables are closed by inflectional boundaries, so that tense forms include
planning as well as plan, staffer as well as staff, as opposed to lax planet and
raffle.
There is considerable variation before voiced fricatives (magic, imagine,
jazz).
Initial short-a with codas that normally tense are lax (asperin, asterisk)
exept for the most common words (ask, after).
Abbreviated personal names are often lax (Babs, Cass).
There are a number of lexical exceptions: e.g., tense avenue is normally
tense as opposed to lax average, savage, gavel, etc.
Many learned or late-learned words with short-a in tense environments are
lax: alas, carafe.
Mid-Atlantic split short-a system: Nina B., 42, NYC
voiced stops
æh
tense
lax
voiceless
fricatives
open syllable
manatee
æ
function
word
am
open syllable
animal
Diffusion of the NYC short-a system
The Hudson Valley as a dialect area
NYC
Rutherford, NJ
An ambiguity in polarity
“Hey Dad, can I go with you?”
“I can’t take you. . .”
or
“I can take you. . .”
“Did you mean C-A-N or C-A-N-T?”
The Hudson Valley as a dialect area
No.
Plainfield
NYC
Rutherford, NJ
Short-a system of Alex O., 81, No. Plainfield NJ
voiced stops
voiced stops
voiceless fricatives
tense/lax
tense
auxiliaries
The Hudson Valley as a dialect area
Albany
No.
Plainfield
NYC
Rutherford, NJ
Diffusion of NYC short-a system to the Hudson Valley:
John E., 46, Albany NY, TS 353
voiceless fricatives
open syllable
animal
voiced stops
lexically tense in NYC
tense
lax
Diffusion of the NYC short-a pattern
The Cincinnati short-a system
While other Midland cities show either a nasal system or a continuous
pattern of raising, the traditional Cincinnati system closely resembles that
of NYC, with a tense class of short-a before nasals, voiced stops and
voiceless fricatives and a residual lax class. While the Mid-Atlantic region
of Baltimore, Wilmington and Philadelphia limits tensing before voiced
stops to only three words—mad, bad, glad—Cincinnati has tensing before
all voiced stops except /g/. While the Mid-Atlantic region limits tensing to
codas with front voiceless fricatives, Cincinnati resembles NYC in tensing
cash, ash, hashbrown
We also find in Cincinnati the same type of deviations from the NYC
pattern as in North Plainfield and Albany. The open syllable constraint
is missing: The Telsur subjects show tense Catholic, passive,
fascinated, davenport, Canada, Spanish, cabin, family. In addition, the
function word and is found in the tense group, reflecting this loss of
this grammatical constraint.
Diffusion of NYC pattern to Cincinnati: Lucy M., 58 TS120
open syllable
voiced stops voiceless
fricatives
open syllable
tense
function word
open syllable
lax
lax /g/
voiced
fricatives
The settlement of Cincinnatti
Cincinnati was first settled in 1787, when Congress opened to settlement the land
between the Allegheny Mountains and the Mississippi River. Benjamin Stites
was a native of Scotch Plains, not far from the town of North Plainfield. He first
became acquainted with the Cincinnati region during the French and Indian wars,
and conveyed his enthusiasm for settlement to John Cleves Symmes, a native
New Yorker who moved to New Jersey at the age of 28, became a New Jersey
congressman and like Stites, fought in the Revolutionary War. Symmes and
associates purchased 330,000 acres between the Great Miami and Little Miami
Rivers. Shortly afterwards, a party of 26 settlers headed by Stites arrived. His
children Benjamin Jr., Elijah and Hezekiah were all prominent in the early history
of the area; Benjamin Jr.’s wife is said to have been the first white woman in
Cincinnati. Following the Principle of First Effective Settlement (Zelinsky 1993)
it is likely that the original English dialect of Cincinnati was based on the speech
of residents of New York and neighboring regions of New Jersey.
Diffusion of the NYC short-a pattern New Orleans
New Orleans and New York
There is a New Orleans city accent. . . associated with
downtown New Orleans, particularly with the German
and Irish Third Ward, that is hard to distinguish from the
accent of Hoboken, Jersey City, and Astoria, Long
Island, where the Al Smith inflection, extinct in
Manhattan, has taken refuge.
-A. J. Liebling, The Earl of Louisiana (NY: Simon and
Schuster, 1961)
Diffusion of NYC short-a pattern to New Orleans: Sybil P., 69, TS 167
voiced stops voiceless fricatives
function word
tense
lax
function word
Elizabeth G.
A younger New Orleans speaker studied by Telsur is Elizabeth G,
who was 38 years old when interviewed in 1996. She was a teacher, of
French/Irish/German background. Again, the distribution of tense vowels
matches the NYC system, including short-a before nasals, voiced stops (dad,
bad, sad, grabbing) and voiceless fricatives (ask, grass, glass, master, past).
Again the class of function words is tense, and not lax (have). The
status of the open syllable constraint is severely weakened. The word
internationally is clearly tense, and ceramic is in an intermediate position. On
the other hand, Canada and catholic are in the lax set.
The short-a pattern of Dr. John (Mac Rebennac)
Tense [closed syllable] answer, fancy, hand, bad, dad
Tense [open syllable] piano (2), classical, daddy, fascinate [2],
Manny
Lax [closed syllable] that, cats, fact, that’s, at
Lax [open syllable] Allen
from A History of New Orleans
Donald McNabb & Louis E."Lee" Madère, Jr.
From 1810 until 1840, New Orleans grew at a faster rate
than any other large American city. By 1830, New Orleans
was America's third largest city, behind New York and
Baltimore; and in 1860, it was still the nation's fifth largest
city. New Orleans, despite the Post-Civil War boom that
transformed the North into an urban-industrial area, would
remain among the twelve largest U.S. cities until 1910.
New York City and New Orleans
In the ante-bellum period, roughly between 1820 and 1860, financial,
commercial and social relations between the city and the South were at
fever pitch: New York banks underwrote the plantation economy,
cotton was shipped routinely from New Orleans, Charleston, Savannah
and Mobile to be trans-shipped to England, and Southern planters
regularly combined business with pleasure in the Big Apple of the
1800s. “…down to the outbreak of the Civil War, New York dominated
every single phase of the cotton trade from plantation to market”
(Foner 1941).
--Marshall D. Berger, New York City and the
Antebellum South. In J. L. Dillard (ed.)
Perspectives on American English. The Hague:
Mouton. 1980. P. 137
Commercial relations between NYC and New Orleans
. We find many descriptions of commercial and social relations between
New Orleans and New York in the five-volume history of The Older
Merchants of New York City by John Scoville (1885), but the typical
pattern involves movement of New Yorkers to New Orleans.
Thus in the description of the prominent Seixas merchant clan,
founded by Benjmain Seixas in 1780, we read: “Madison [Seixas] is
in New Orleans, and a partner in the large firm of Glidden and
Seixas.” (Vol II, p. 127)
Korn’s history of The Early Jews of New Orleans deals with
social and business relations from 1718 to 1812. References to
New York City are found on 55 pages, compared to 6 for Boston.
Optimality constraints on tensing of short-a
*æh[+voc]: no tensing before resonants (pal, carry)
*æh[-cont,-voi]: no tensing before voiceless stops (cap, bat, back)
*æ#: no laxing before Class 2 inflectional boundaries (manning, passes)
*æh.: no tensing before syllable boundaries (manner, castle)
*æ[+cont,-voi]: no laxing before voiceless fricatives (pass, cash, half)
*Vh[+G]: no tensing in function words (can, am, an, had, has)
*æ[-cont,+voi]: no laxing before voiced stops (cab, bad, bag)
*æh[+vel]: no tensing before velars (bag, bang)
*æ[+nas]: no laxing before nasals (ham, man, bang)
*æh: IDENT-æ
*æ: No lax æ.
Inland North constraints on tensing of short-a
*æ
bæht 
bæt
bæhk 
bæk
mæhn 
mæn
!*
!*
!*
x
y
z
New York City short-a constraints
*æh
[+cont]





*æh
[–cont,
–voi]
*æ#
*æh.
*æh
[+G]
*æ
[+cont,
–voi]
*!
*
*
*!
*
*!
*
mæ.n ´ r
*
*!
*
*!
*
*!
*
*!
kæs&
*!
fæh.s&´
n
*
fæ.s&´
n


bæhg
bæg
bæhng
bæng
pæhl
pæl
*æ
[+nas]

mæh.n#ing
mæ.n#ing
 hæhd
 hæd

pæhs
pæs

kæhs&

*æh
[+vel]
*!
bæht
bæt
bæhk
bæk
kæhn
kæn
kæhn [aux]
kæn [aux]
mæh.n´ r


*æ
[–cont
,+voi]
*
*
*!
*!
*
*!
Short-a constraints in Northern New Jersey
*æh
[+cont]


*æh
[–cont
–voi]
*æ#
*æh.
kæhn
kæn
kæhn [aux]
kæn [aux]
*æ
[+nas]


*
*!
*!
*
hæd
mæh.n´ r
*!
*
mæ.n ´ r
mæh.n#ing
mæ.n#ing
fæh.s&´
n

fæ.s&´
n


bæhg
bæg
bæhng
bæng
*æh
[+vel]
*æ
[–cont
+voi]
*!
hæhd

*æh
[+G]
*æ
[+cont
–voi]
*!
*!
*
*!
*
*!
*
*
*!
Short-a constraints in New Orleans
*æh
[+cont]




*æh
[–cont
–voi]
*æ#
kæhn
kæn
kæhn [aux]
kæn [aux]
hæhd [aux]
hæd [aux]
mæh.n´ r

mæh.n#ing
mæ.n#ing
fæh.s&´
n


*æh
[+G]
*
*!
*
*!
*
*!
*!
*!
*
*!
*
fæ.s&´
n
bæhg
bæg
bæhng
bæng
*æh.
*æh
[+vel]
*æ
[–cont
+voi]
*!
mæ.n ´ r

*V
[+nas]
*æ
[+cont
–voi]
*!
*
*
*!
The diffusion of the Northern Cities Shift
along the St. Louis corridor
The Northern Cities Shift
desk
mat
busses
head
boss
socks
U.S. at Night
U.S. at Night
The St. Louis corridor along Interstate I-55
Fairbury
The Northern Cities Shift AE1 measure: raising of /æ/ to F1 < 700 Hz.
The Northern Cities Shift EQ measure reversal of relative positions of /e/ and /æ/
The Northern Cities Shift O2 measure: fronting of /o/ beyond 1450 Hz/
The Northern Cities Shift ED measure: front-back alignment of /e/ and /o/
The Northern Cities Shift UD measure: /^/ backer than /o/
Full Northern Cities Shift of Kitty R., 56, Chicago, TS 66
Partial Northern Cities Shift of Rose M., 38, St. Louis, TS161,
Speakers with all the defining features of the Northern Cities Shift
Distribution of NCS measures in No. Illinois and the St. Louis corridor
Nort hern Illinois
S terling I L
E lgin I L S S
E lign I L RS
J oliet I L
Roc kford J G
B elvidere I L
H ammond I N
Roc kford I L V S
L ena I L
St . Louis Corridor
S t. L ouis M H
S t. L ouis J H 2
Fairbury I L
S pringfield A K
B loomington
S pringfield KR
S pringfield WK
S t. L ouis J H
S t. L ouis RM
A E1
O2
EA Q
EOD
UD
A ge Rank
34
1
19
1
42
1
30
1
37
2
33
2
45
3
65
4
47
5
C orr 0 .7 3 8
48
1
57
2
25
3
60
4
27
5
32
6
67
6
53
6
38
6
C orr - 0 .0 5
Diffusion along the St. Louis corridor
is largely the result of the acquisition of the individual
elements of the Northern Cities Shift and is not driven by the
chain shift mechanism that is responsible for the uniform
development of the NCS in the Inland North.
Conclusions
• Both family tree models and wave models are needed to account for the history
and relatedness of language families.
• Family tree models are generated by the transmission of changes internal to the
system of the speech community, while the wave model reflects diffusion through
language contact.
• Transmission is through the language learning activity of children, while
diffusion is largely due to contact among adults.
• The strong constraint against the diffusion of language structure in language
contact. is due to the limited language learning abilities of adults.
• It follows that the results of language contact will be slower, less regular, and less
governed by structural constraints than the internal changes that are the major
mechanism of linguistic diversification in the family tree model.
• The difference will be a matter of degree, since recent studies of language change
across the lifespan have shown that adults do participate in ongoing change, but
more sporadically and at a much lower rate than in their formative years.
Research frontiers
Incrementation
At what age can it be said that children have acquired the dialect of their
caretakers?
At what age does the influence of peers first affect the dialect acquired
from caretakers and how completely can it be reo-organized?
If children look to older peers as models of behavior, how does it happen
that they overtake and surpass those peers in the incrementaton of linguistic
variables?
Diffusion
How rapidly does language learning ability fall off in late adolescence
and early adulthood and how does this cognitive change intersect with social
factors?
Are there communities where children are the agents of language
contact?
Who are the agents in the diffusion of the new verb of quotation (be like)
throughout the English-speaking world?
Northern Cities Shift of Martha F., Kenosha WI, TS3: Vowel means
i
æ
e
√
oh
ah
Eastern N.E. nasal short-a system Dawn L., 21, Boston MA
Mid-Atlantic split short-a system: Nina B., 42, NYC
/æh/
tense
lax
/æ/
Acquisition of Philadelphia output phonetic variables by
children of out-of-state families by age of arrival
AGE OF ARRIVAL
100
90
80
70
60
0-4 [n=17]
5-9 [n=14]
10-14 [n=3]
50
40
30
20
10
0
-10
aw
ay°
ow
oy
uw
from Payne 1976
from-- - HISTORY OF CINCINNATI AND HAMILTON COUNTY
The large number and great wealth of the Hebrew people in Cincinnati
would lead one to expect handsome synagogues and interesting charities,
and that expectation would not be disappointed. No handsomer edifice is to
be found in the city than the Plum Street Temple, over which Dr. Isaac M.
Wise has been rabbi for fifty years. In this noble structure, whose elegant
proportions delight the eye, are seats for 1,500 people. It is the wealthiest
organization in the city.
Jewish Synagogues: Holy Congregation of Children of Israel, Eighth and
Mound streets; Beth Tfila Congregation House of Prayer, Carlisle avenue;
Hevra Beth Hakenisis, George street; Holy Congregation of Brethren in
Love, John and Bauer avenue; Holy Congregation Children of Jeshurun,
Plum and Eighth; K. K. Beth Hamedrasch Hagadol Congregation, Fifth
street; K. K. Beth Hamedrasch Synagogue, West Court street; Synagogue
Kashir Israel, Mound and Richmond streets.
Three further constraints on NYC short-a tensing
Tense in
but not in
closed syllables
semantic
open syllables
panic
inflectional paradigms
derivational forms
passing
content words
bad
tin can
passive
function words
had
I can
Philadelphia short-a pattern
compared to NYC
p
t
b cab
d *
m
n
**
**
f
T
s
half bath pass
v
D
z
l
c&
k
j&badge
g
bag
N
s&
cash
z&
r
*mad, bad, glad only
**all except irregular verbs ran, swam, began
North American short-a systems
The nasal system
The general raising system
Split of /æ/ and /æh/
New York City
Mid-Atlantic
Continuous raising
Southern breaking
Lax and tense short-a vowels of 30 Philadelphia
African American speakers in casual speech
Normally tense
Nasals
can, ham
Voiceless fricatives
half, glass, bath
mad, bad, glad
Lax
Tense
5
95
27
69
16
83
56
43
29
71
Normally lax
Intervocalic nasals
ran, swam, began
hammer, banana
Anita Henderson, The short-a Pattern of Philadelphia among AfricanAmerican speakers. Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 3.1:127-140, 1996
The Inland North defined by the front-back approximation of /e/ and /o/
Percent deletion of coronal consonant clusters in spontaneous
speech of 256 children in 2nd to 4th grade
African American
56
White
40
Latino (learned to read in English first)
48
Latino (learned to read in Spanish first)
56
Logistic regression weights of deletion of consonant clusters in spontaneous
speech of 256 children in 2nd to 4th grade by language/ethnic group
African American
0.9
0.8
Preceding
segment
Number
cons.
Gram’l
status
White
Latino(Eng)
Latino(Span)
Voicing Voicing Stress
relation
Following
segment
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
Vowel
/y/
/h/
Pause
Stop
/r/
Fricative
/w/
Nasal
Lateral
Stresssed
Unstressed
Heterogeneous
Homogeneous
Voiced
Voiceless
Preterit
Monomorphemic
Derivational
1
2
Liquid
Fricative
Stop
Nasal
0
Sibilant
0.1
Frequency of invariant BE by
ethnic/language group and region
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
Percent BE of all copula
Percent BE of all copula
18
20
15
A
African American
E
10
Latino(Eng)
S
Latino(Span)
W
5
White
0
Atl
2
Phi
Cal
0
Atlanta
Philadelphia
C alifornia
Distribution of invariant BE by complement
Numbers of invariant BE
35
30
25
20
Latino(Eng)
15
African American
10
5
0
P rogres s ive
A dj/Loc
BE like
The Inland North defined by the relative frontness of /o/ and /√/
A 4th grade Latino(Eng) speaker’s use of invariant BE
Elizabeth: A haunted house. What do you think it's like there.
P02-012: They be killing real people with real knives
Elizabeth: Really?
P02-012: On my block, there's some store, they be having a lot of
people hanging up right there with fake costumes. They put like - like
newspapers, a lot of newspapers, so it can look like a real person, they
press, they have a string, then they press the - uhm - when they be
back there and that thing be over here, they press - they pull the string,
and the thing squeeze and blood come out from the face like that.
Latino (Eng) speaker’s use of invariant BE
P07-001: And I told my mom to don't sell 'em.
I only have - I'm'onna - I'm'a - I - my sist- my cat's gonna have eight. And my - my
sister's gonna have one, my mom's gonna have
two - the big one and the little one, and my
brother's gonna have one. He doesn't like our
cat. He always um - he always jumps on it.
EAW:
Oh okay.
P07-001: He bes mad.
stuff at it.
When he's mad he throws
The Inland North defined by the relative reversal of /e/ and /æ/
Eastern N.E. nasal short-a system, Debbie T., 34, Manchester, NH
Diffusion of NYC pattern to Cincinnati: Lucy M., 58 TS120.
Continuous short-a distribution of June K., 23, Columbia, MO
Preliminary to the Northern Cities Shift: tensing of
lax low vowels
Structural changes in the Inland North Vowel system
Short vowels
front
back
high
i
mid
e
u
√
low
æ
o
Long and ingliding vowels
oh
æh
ah
Collision course in the Northern Cities Shift
Northern Cities Shift for Martin H., 48, TS 111
from A History of New Orleans
Donald McNabb & Louis E."Lee" Madère, Jr.
For New Orleans, American annexation brought population growth and
economic development. The Louisiana Purchase removed the political
barriers to the development of New Orleans' natural economic and
situational advantages. From 1803 until 1861, New Orleans' population
increased from 8,000 to nearly 170,000. The 1810 census revealed a
population of 10,000 making New Orleans the United States' fifth
largest city, after New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Baltimore and
the largest city west of the Appalachians. From 1810 until 1840, New
Orleans grew at a faster rate than any other large American city. By
1830, New Orleans was America's third largest city, behind New York
and Baltimore; and in 1860, it was still the nation's fifth largest city.
New Orleans, despite the Post-Civil War boom that transformed the
North into an urban-industrial area, would remain among the twelve
largest U.S. cities until 1910.
Diffusion of the NYC short-a pattern
Sephardic bankers in NYC
Among the bankers closely related to New Orleans were many
representatives of the large Sephardic Jewish families. Scoville
underlines the importance of the Jews in many places:
The Israelite merchants were few then [1790], but now? they
have increased in this city beyond any comparison. There are
80,000 Israelites in the city. It is the high standard of excellence
of the old Israelite merchants of 1800 that has made this race
occupy the proud position it does now in this city
(4) The Northern Cities Shift as a structural rotation
+front
-front
-front
+front
-front
-front
-back
-back
+back
-back
-back
+back
-high, -low
e
^
oh
æ
e
^
-high, +low
æ
o
oh
+high, -low
=>
o
+front
-front
-front
+front
-front
-front
-back
-back
+back
-back
-back
+back
-high, -low
e
^
oh
æN
e,^
oh
-high, +low
æ
+high, -low
o
=>
æ
o
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The Transmission of Linguistic Variation from Place to