of likely interest to NYers only

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Wed Mar 6 16:30:39 UTC 2002

At 09:09 AM 3/6/02 -0500, you wrote:
>At 8:23 AM -0500 3/6/02, Michael Newman wrote:
>>>At 3:08 PM -0600 3/5/02, Matthew Gordon wrote:
>>>>Can you specify which NCS features you've noticed?
>>>>On a more general note, are NYers (nonlinguists) aware of the NCS as a
>>>>stereotype of, say, Buffalo or Rochester?
>>>Well, more of Chicago, I think.  But there's an awareness, at least
>>>on the part of many non-linguists.  I've heard a couple of
>>>mock-Northern Cities pronunciations on sports highlight shows to
>>>denote "Chicago".
>>I agree with Larry. When I mention Chicago, some of my students will
>>front the vowel in the name. I also heard this in LA.
>>As for our Great Lakes subway voice:
>>There is a fronted /a/ in 'stop' and lowered vowel in 'Wall,' as well
>>as tensed /ae/s in places where NYers don't tense. There don't seem
>>to be any of the later shifts.
>Maybe she's a New Yorker who's modeling herself after the renowned
>New York tough guy Lieut. Andy Sipowicz in NYPD Blue (= Dennis Franz,
>who must be from Chicago, or someplace like it, in real life)

Labov uses Franz as a model of NCS in a great short interview he did with
"20/20" (or some such show; I don't have the video handy), and he notes
that Franz is actually from Chic/ae/go.  He shows Franz saying "Wha'
happened?" three times, with a clearly tensed /ae/.  (Alice asked what my
students mean by "nasally," and this is it, as becomes clear when we move
to vowel charts and talk about raising, tensing, etc.)  The Labov interview
is an excellent short clip to use in an undergrad class on dialects, by the

Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

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