According to the Wikipedia page, GOAT in GenAm is realized as a slightly fronted [ö̞ʊ]. I have also heard some GenAm(-like) speakers produce that variant, though others produced a completely back variant. What I wonder is the significance of the slightly fronted variant, and if it means that GOAT-fronting is spreading to GenAm (together with GOOSE-fronting, which is more advanced in GenAm).


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