Southern varieties of English are known to be affected by the Southern Vowel Shift (SVS), which alters the positional relationship between the front tense/lax system. However, previous work on the SVS generally limits its focus to steady state formant measures. Possible links between these shifts and dynamic trajectory distinctions have largely been unexplored despite widespread recognition that Southern vowels are dynamic in nature. The current article uses data from three Southern states (Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia) to ask to what extent does spectral onset position (the typical measure of SVS participation) correlate with internal spectral dynamics in the SVS. Analysis methods include a series of spectral measures (vector length, trajectory length, spectral rate of change and vector angle), which capture vowel inherent dynamics and vowel directionality. Results support the utility of looking at dynamic measures to better understand the fuller extent of vowel changes that occur with the SVS and lend support to recent calls to include nonstatic measures in sociophonetic analyses more generally.

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