A majority sound change in a minority community: /u/-fronting in Chicano English



Many sociolinguistic studies have found that minority groups are not participating in the sound changes characteristic of the majority community. This study, however, presents evidence that /u/-fronting, a sound change observable in California Anglo speakers, is found in the minority Mexican-American community as well, among speakers of Chicano English. Furthermore, while a high percentage of variation research has focused on correlating sociolinguistic variables with traditional social factors (age, gender, and social class being the most common), the results of this research underscore the need to analyze variation within the context of those social categories that are of particular significance to the specific community being studied, as well as the importance of incorporating interactions among social factors into a sociolinguistic analysis.