valley talk

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIOU.EDU
Thu Oct 17 16:51:01 UTC 2002

Not likely, though you're right--the article seems to imply a
connection.  The Hispanic English of the area (and northern California too)
has been studied by Carmen Fought and Norma Mendoza-Denton (in separate
publications).  Carmen notes some crossover influence from Valley Talk, but
Norma plays it down.  HispEng has its own distinctive features, but of
course they're not as widely known and are often just thought of, by the
public, as "learner English" even after several generations of U.S.
residence and native speaker acquisition of English.

Frank Zappa's daughter has apparently studied Valley Girl Talk (her
generation shaped it, after all), but I can't pull up a ref. off the top of
my head.  Other sociolinguists have too, of course.

At 08:54 AM 10/17/2002 -0400, you wrote:
>Today's NY Times has a column with the paragraph "The valley's 1.3 million
>residents, half of them Hispanic, are a third of L.A.'s population,
>covering more than half the sprawling city's territory. They have their
>anthem (Gene Autry's "I'm gonna settle down and never more roam, and make
>the San Fernando Valley my home"). For a generation, "valley girls" have
>had their own dialect, leading the nation's teenagers into punctuating
>their every phrase with the interjection of hesitation ? like ? and
>permeating America's airwaves with the exclamation Omigod!"
>Is there any support for the connection between "valley talk" and Spanish
>this paragraph hints at?
>"We are all New Yorkers"
>       --Dominique Moisi

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