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The Life History of a Sound Change

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Bert Vaux.

The study of language changes in progress makes it possible to trace the trajectory of change in some detail. Progress has been made in locating the triggering events that initiate change; identifying the driving forces that move change forward; and accounting for the rising levels of change that ultimately lead to a uniform structure of the speech community. The cases studied will include the series of chain shifts responsible for the growing diversity of North American dialects, as reflected in the newly completed Atlas of North American English.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Institute for Language Research events series.

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