Document Type

Honors Project


The Northern Cities Shift (NCS) is a vowel chain shift occurring in parts of the North dialect region and only the first changes were reported in Minnesotan English, such as /æ/ raising as in bat (Labov et al. 2006). The NCS has shown resistance to the low-back merger (LBM), which is “in transition” in the Twin Cities (Labov). Speech samples from Twin Cities speakers ages 16-18 and 35-55 were recorded, measured and analyzed. The present study finds the shift continuing to advance in some speakers, sometimes co-occurring with the LBM, but full shifting occurring only apart from the LBM.

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