Map 7.The mergers of /e/ and/ey/ before /l/.

This map deals with the merger of the long and short mid vowels,/e/ and /ey/, before /l/ in pairs such as fell and fail.

The geographic distribution is parallel to Map 4 for the corresponding high vowels, and shows almost the same pattern in geographic space. There is a main concentration of merger in the Southeast in central and western North Carolina, a sizeable representation in the western Gulf States, and merger solidly entrenched in west Texas.

The pattern of merger in perception before production is even clearer than in previous maps. There are 22 cases of merger in perception but not in production, but only 1 with the reverse pattern. Again, these are distributed throughout the midWest, rather than in the area of greatest absolute merger.