Date: Wed, 22 Mar 1995 09:26:00 EST From: "Dennis.Preston" <22709MGR[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MSU.EDU> Subject: 'see' or 'say' Bill Smith's observations that in the Southern Shift beat sounds like bait and bait sounds like bite is right on (and he might have observed that bit sounds a little like beat and bet a little like bait). The problem is in associating 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 peripheral one. One must determine the phonetic attributes of sounds which a particular change may make use of. I assume it is the nonperipheral (lax) onset of the original 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 of their second parts. Chapters 5 and 6 of Labov's new Prinmciples of Linguistic Change will give the details (Blackwell, 1994). Dennis Preston 22709mgr[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]msu,edu or preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]