Date: Thu, 30 Mar 1995 12:52:42 +0100 From: Maik Gibson Subject: Re: see or say Writing as someone else who hasn't read this stuff, my question would be: have we ever had a pure [i:] in English? May be we have , but in RP /i:/ is quite consistently realised as [Iy]. This could be derived, one supposes, from a tendency to to make all long vowels and diphthongs finish with a glide ( at least before another vowel), treating long vowels in a similar way to diphthongs. Of course, this probably begs as many questions as it answers! Maik Gibson On Sun, 26 Mar 1995, William H. Smith wrote: > Responses to my query concerning the shift in tense front vowels have noted > that it was consistent with Labov's principle of vowel shifts. Actually, I > had started to include a reference to Labove in my posting, but decided not > to in deference to my own ignorance, since I have not yet read his work and > am familiar with it only through references to it at conferences. As I > understand it, in vowel shifts, peripheral (tense) vowels tend to rise and > interior (lax) vowels tend to lower. If ash is interior, then the southern > shift /e/ > [Ey] > [aey] is consistent with that principle. However, /i/ > > [Iy] > [ey] represents a move back to the periphery. Either I misunderstand > Labov, or my ears are off (either/both of which are likely) or this change is > an exception to Labov's principle. I had hoped to get an answer to which of > these is correct without embarassing myself too much, but no such luck. > Bill smith > Piedmont College > wh5mith[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] >