This article investigates the influence of the Northern Cities Shift (NCS) on the production and perception of English vowels by Mexican Americans in Lansing, Michigan. Findings indicate full accommodation to local mainstream norms with respect to all NCS vowels except /æ/, which displays unique patterning both prenasally and in other environments. The evidence also reveals that young women in Lansing, both Anglo and Mexican American, have adopted more advanced stages of the NCS than men in their pronunciations of the vowels /I/, /ϵ/, and prenasal /æ/. Perception results match production results such that, among the six vowels examined, only /æ/ differs significantly between groups. These findings suggest that, although constant exposure to and interaction with the local matrix group appear to have led to nearly total accommodation to local NCS features in the English of Mexican Americans in Lansing, pronunciation of the vowel /æ/, in particular, reflects unique patterns of history and identity.
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REBECCA V. ROEDER; NORTHERN CITIES MEXICAN AMERICAN ENGLISH: VOWEL PRODUCTION AND PERCEPTION. American Speech 1 May 2010; 85 (2): 163–184. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-2010-009
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