Campus Announcements

Reed launches Lab of Linguistics (LoL)

Say the following sentence out loud: “The cops caught the robber as he was sleeping on a small cot.”

Was there any difference in the way you pronounced the words caught and cot?

In some parts of the United States, such as New York City, speakers tend to distinguish the two. But in Boston and on the West Coast, speakers tend to pronounce them the same—a trend known to linguists as the low-back merger. Over centuries, the merger or migration of sounds can radically transform a language, as in the case of the Great Vowel Shift that rewired English in the Middle Ages.

Learn more about the LoL.

For more information, visit:
http://www.reed.edu/reed_magazine/sallyportal/posts/2014/reed-launches-linguistics-lab-lol.html.
Submitted by Robin Tovey.
Posted on Oct 22, 2014

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Questions may be directed to Robin Tovey, communications manager. Announcements do not represent the views of Reed College.