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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Query Details

Query Subject:   American Vowel Shift
Author:   Johanna Rubba
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Phonetics

Query:   A student of mine is working on a So. Cal. vowel shift. We need two things:

(1) A program she can use to train herself to hear minute vowel
differences and associate them with the correct IPA symbols.

(2) We are looking for recordings that demonstrate the Northern Cities
Vowel Shift. I heard about samples in which a speaker would say a word
in isolation (e.g., [blak]), then in a context. For this word, to a NE
ear, she would be saying ''black'', but she was actually saying ''block''.
Does anyone know of a source of these samples, on the web or via library
loan? I found one website (at U of AZ)that supposedly had such samples,
but I got no audio when clicking on the example word.

Thanks for any help!

Johanna Rubba
Associate Professor, Linguistics
English Department,
California Polytechnic State University
One Grand Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
LL Issue: 15.2809
Date posted: 07-Oct-2004


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