NY accent is dying out?

Michael Newman michael.newman at QC.CUNY.EDU
Sun Jan 22 20:40:27 UTC 2012

Pauls' right, but the article also comes from over-interpreting Kara's work on the Lower East Side and the perennial idea bouncing around the media of the dialect dying out because, among other things, it is receding among Manhattan Whites due to the high number of them that are transplants. That said there may be a slow deregionalization going on. 

Kara did find that some local origin Whites are losing a number of NYCE features such as (oh) raising, but her work was in an area that is particularly heavy in transplants. So much so, that she had trouble finding young people whose families would have been on the LES back when Labov did his fieldwork. In my in progress book on NYCE I have mostly maintenance of many features by young people including one who has our precious bird vowel! However, those with the strongest NYCE accents were in a minority even in her high school, where they called it the "Howard Beach" accent. 

Michael Newman
Associate Professor of Linguistics
Queens College/CUNY
michael.newman at qc.cuny.edu

On Jan 22, 2012, at 2:24 PM, Dan Goodman wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Dan Goodman <dsgood at IPHOUSE.COM>
> Subject:      Re: NY accent is dying out?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On 01/22/2012 01:10 PM, Paul Johnston wrote:
>> When journalists say such-and-such a dialect is dying out, usually it
>> seems to me that what they're saying is that some (often unspecified)
>> features are receding, but the features that are retained are
>> ignored.  Sure, there are recessive features (the famous [@i] for
>> bird, third, church for one--and does anyone know who, if anyone,
>> uses it among the generation born about 1980 or so?).  Rhoticity is
>> becoming more common.  But last time I was in NYC (2009), you still
>> heard people, even young ones, asking for a cup of [kU at fi~ko at fi).
> When was it that the New York Times ran an article about NYC's dialect
> dying out?  I believe it got some notice on this mailing list.
> --
> Dan Goodman
> If you're not confused, you don't understand the situation.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list