Standard US English Dialect?

LanDi Liu strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
Sun Apr 13 11:46:39 UTC 2008

I've found that idea here in China a lot too.  Before I came to China
I had lived in NYC for several years, so when people ask me where I'm
from, usually I say New York, and then they think then that my accent
must be standard.  I think my accent is pretty standard, but that has
nothing to do with NYC.  Most people believe that the midwestern
accent is the most "standard", but I have never seen a full
description of it.  One of the things I plan on doing one of these
days is transcribing the speech of several midwestern newscasters to
see if I can formulate a good description of it.  Once I do, I'll let
everyone know, so they can rip it apart. : )

As far as NYC middle class goes, that means very little as far as
accents go.  Because of the large amount of people that live in NYC
that weren't born there, and the fact that different boroughs in NYC
have different accents to begin with, and the fact that class and
accent aren't so easily correlated anymore, I don't think anyone could
say what a NYC middle class accent is.  So probably the people in
Japan and China (and elsewhere) think capital = standard.  Most people
think Beijing Chinese is standard, but that's a myth as well.


On Sun, Apr 13, 2008 at 1:58 AM, chris bennett <quiddity9 at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>  Poster:       chris bennett <quiddity9 at HOTMAIL.COM>
>  Subject:      Standard US English Dialect?
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  Hello,
>  My girlfriend is Japanese/American and believes standard US dialect =3D
>  is that of the middle class of New York City. She believes this because =
>  =3D
>  many of her ESL learning friends have been told this and they generally =
>  =3D
>  seek NYC tutors. She reminded me that Tokyo Japanese is the standard, =
>  =3D
>  which may lend support to her NYC idea.
>  =20
>  I've searched online for the answer and have had no luck. =3D
>  Personally, I was under the impression that midwestern dialects were =3D
>  generally accepted as "standard" US English dialect. My grandfather =3D
>  worked for the Voice of America and was always impressed by the foreign =
>  =3D
>  broadcasters (Russia's version of the VOA, etc.) who spoke with a =3D
>  perfect Ohio type dialect. I've also seen Deutsche Welle newscasters =3D
>  with the Ohio dialect.
>  =20
>  Are you able to shed any light on the matter?
>  =20
>  Thanks much,
>  Christian Bennignus
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>  The American Dialect Society -

Randy Alexander
Jilin City, China

The American Dialect Society -

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