Volume 26, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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This paper examines the status of two vowel mergers in a rural area of the United States. The front-lax merger has traditionally been a southern US merger, and the low-back merger has traditionally been a northern or western US merger. In areas of West Virginia, the same speakers demonstrate both. This geographic overlap of both mergers reinforces the idea that West Virginia is a transitional dialect region. In addition, the traditionally distinct dialect regions of West Virginia are finding increased unity in this overlap of mergers.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): American English , dialectology , merger , Midland English , variation and vowel
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