Date: Thu, 23 Mar 1995 12:12:00 EST

From: "Dennis.Preston" 22709MGR[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MSU.EDU

Subject: No subject given

Bill Smith's observations that in the Southern Shift beat sounds like bait a

bait sounds like bite is right on (and he might have observed that bit sound

a little like beat and bet a little like bait). The problem is in associatin

what are traditionally known as tense and lax vowels with the peripheral and

nonperipheral track that vowels follow in chain shifting. In the Southern

Shift, in what Labov identifies as Pattern IV, /iy/ and /ey/ are lowering

along the nonperipheral track and /I/ and /E/ are raising along the peripher


One must determine the phonetic attributes of sounds which a particular chan

may make use of. I assume it is the nonperipheral (lax) onset of the origina

diphthings of such items as beat and bait which is latched onto by the

lowering, nonperipheral force (as opposed to the tenser, glide-like aspect o

their second parts. Chapters 5 and 6 of Labov's new Prinmciples of Linguisti

Change will give the details (Blackwell, 1994).

Dennis Preston

22709mgr[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]msu,edu