The social motivations of reversal: Raised bought in New York City English

  title={The social motivations of reversal: Raised bought in New York City English},
  author={Kara Becker},
  journal={Language in Society},
  pages={395 - 420}
  • K. Becker
  • Published 13 August 2014
  • Linguistics
  • Language in Society
Abstract This article presents a variationist analysis of the bought vowel in New York City English (NYCE) and finds that it has reversed the trajectory of change outlined in Labov (1966). An acoustic analysis of production data from sixty-four native residents of the Lower East Side demonstrates that bought is lowering in apparent time, a change led by young people, white and Jewish speakers, and the middle classes. A second source of data comes from perceptions of raised bought gathered from… 
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