"New Orleans," pronunciation thereof

Andrea Morrow aandrea1234 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 2 03:31:49 UTC 2009

FWIW: My husband, who is 50 and from New Orleans, says that the folks who
live there have many ways of saying it, depending on where in the city
they're from and how they self-identify.  He, being the son of an petroleum
engineer originally from Texas, hung around with people from similar
"transplant" backgrounds, and grew up saying, "NewAWlins," kind of run
together but with a distinct syllable for "New."  (Having lived in Michigan
20 years, he now says, "NewAWRlins.") He says the folks from the Ninth Ward
(many of whom were seen on TV in the wake of Katrina, say, "NAWlins."  And,
again according to him, the yats say "N'yawlins."  See this link for more on
yats: http://www.gumbopages.com/yatspeak.html.

On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 10:52 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "New Orleans," pronunciation thereof
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 10:08 PM -0400 7/1/09, Mark Mandel wrote:
> >On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 9:34 PM, Jonathan
> >Lighter<wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>  All my life I said "New Or-LEENs" (note the "r"). Then I met people
> from
> >>  there who ridiculed me because they said "NAWlins" only. ? They were my
> age,
> >>  so that pronunciation must have been standard in the 1950s if not
> before.
> >
> >"new or-LEENZ" is also my pronunciation. The "r" will be there by
> >default for rhotic speakers like me (NYC area) and absent for
> >non-rhotics (including N.O.), so that difference is automatic here.
> >
> >But I've also seen a pronunciation described as "N'yawlinz" (iirc),
> >with a /y/. Anyone know more about that?
> And not just from N'Yawkuhs who've moved to the Crescent City?
> LH
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Andrea Morrow
Director of Writing Programs
Stephen M. Ross School of Business
The University of Michigan
Room R3478
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234
aandrea at umich.edu

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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