The phenomenon of back vowel fronting is a sweeping change affecting U.S. dialects. The apparent uniformity of these changes compared to those affecting front vowel classes in regional dialects is one of its most striking aspects. While this fronting, affecting the /uw/, /ʊ/, and /ow/ vowel classes, has been noted by almost every researcher investigating regional vowel variation, the linguistic and social aspects of this shift in the Western region has only recently begun to be explored. As part of a larger research program exploring the diffusion of back vowel fronting across regional dialects and its related linguistic and social conditioning, this paper will help fill a void in the study of back vowel fronting in the Western United States, as realized in Reno, Nevada.

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