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3. Change in Texan Speech
Texas has been radically transformed in comparison with other states . Factors that have reshaped the demography of the state include: “rapid metropolitanization, the increasing dominance of high tech-industries in the state's economy, and massive migration” with significant linguistic consequences (Bailey et al. 2006 : 39).
emphasize that the most evident consequence is “an emerging rural-urban linguistic spit” (Bailey et al. 2006 : 39). Even though most of Southern features are still powerful in rural areas and small cities, in metropolitans these features are disappearing.
“The general tendency in the phonology of Texas English is that mergers expand at the expense of distinctions although traditionally, Texan Speech was determined by phonemic distinctions. (Bailey et al. 2006 : 40)” Bailey et al. (2006 : 40) identifies 11 changes:
1. the loss of initial /h/ before /j/ so that words like Hugh and you become homophones;
2. the loss of /j/ after /t, d, n/ so that words like due and do become homophones;
3. the intrusion of /r/ in words like Washington;
4. the “loss” of /r/ after vowels in words like forty;
5. the variation of /ɑ/ and /ɔ/ before /r/ so that lord often sounds like lard;
6. the fronting and raising of the first element of the diphthong /au/ in words like house. This change only occurs among the white population of Texas and it has had little effect on the speech of African Americans or Hispanics.
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