Since the Great Vowel Shift began in the 1400s, English vowels have been in a state of flux (Fromkin et al. 2017:331). Labov et al. (2006) have documented two macrolevel shifts in North American English: The Northern Cities Shift and The Southern Shift. At a microlevel, vowel shifts are happening in various regions of the US, as amply described in Wolfram and Ward (2006). However, vowel shifts in Minnesota English are poorly documented, except for stereotypical portrayals in popular culture. A shift involving [ʌ] and [ɔ] is quietly underway. It drew our attention only because of a misunderstanding between a speaker and dozens of listeners. Two separate experiments are conducted to find out more about what is going on with [ʌ] and [ɔ]. For this, we recruited 27 participants and extracted F0, F1, F2, F3, F4, intensity, and duration values, for a total of 436 measured tokens. The main finding is that many speakers in Central Minnesota no longer differentiate between [ʌ] and [ɔ] when they occur before nasal consonants.
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Koffi, Ettien and Hanzsek-Brill, Connor
"Acoustic Phonetic Evidence of Masking Between [ʌ] and [ɔ] in Central Minnesota English,"
Linguistic Portfolios: Vol. 10
, Article 6.
Available at: https://repository.stcloudstate.edu/stcloud_ling/vol10/iss1/6