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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|Subject:||small difference between phonemes|
|Question:||I wonder whether any fellow panelist could help me track down an article, 40-odd years old now, which refuted the standard idea that small psychological differences between different phonemes don't exist by showing that two phonemes in the dialect of a village in Essex (England) were only marginally distinct for the speakers. Although the data were from England, the article was by Americans – I thought one might have been Labov, another Uriel Weinreich, and there was a third, but searching on this basis hasn't found me the item. Does anyone out there have a clue what I'm thinking of, please? Geoff Sampson|
|Reply:||You might be thinking of an article by Robert Stockwell and Donka Minkova describing reflexes of ME *ō and *ū as /ū/ and /ʊū/ respectively: Stockwell, Robert P. & Donka Minkova. 1988. The English Vowel Shift: Problems of coherence and explanation. Luick Revisited, ed. by Dieter Kastovsky & Gero Bauer, 355–394. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag. Or maybe it really was Essex. Volume 1 of Labov's Principles of Linguistic Change has a section on the LINE and LOIN classes of words in Essex, describing field work conducted in the early 70s. The relevant section starts at p. 377. (Earlier versions of this may have appeared in Penn working papers or in the Labov, Yaeger, & Steiner report.)|
|Reply From:||Alice Faber click here to access email|