Sociolinguistic research has shown that attitudes towards linguistic variants can distinguish different speech communities. The importance of attitudes for an explanation of linguistic change was examined and compared to traditional explanations by sociolinguistic and dialectologic variables. Therefore the dialect of Aarau was investigated, a small town situated between the two cities of Bern (80 km in the west) and Zürich (50 km in the east) in the German speaking part of Switzerland. Bern and Zürich both are centres of a larger dialect region, Aarau lies in the contact zone of these two dialects. Phonetic variables of the idiolect of 55 speakers were compared to historical data and related to their attitudes towards the neighbouring dialects. The findings so far show no significant correlation of attitudes and language change, but further research including morphology will refine the results. The inclusion of attitudes to explain linguistic change can complement the understanding of linguistic change, but it can not explain it.