[Ads-l] "New York City conversation"

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Fri Jun 9 20:08:43 EDT 2017


>From an article by John Leland in the NYTimes, Friday June 9; online June 8 at Obstruction of Justice, or ‘Normal New York City Conversation’?

  
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Obstruction of Justice, or ‘Normal New York City Conversation’?
 By John Leland Chris Christie’s characterization of President Trump’s remarks to James B. Comey struck many New Yorkers as tin-...  |   |

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Chris Christie, a native son of Newark and the governor of New Jersey, suggested on Wednesday that President Trump’s remarks to his F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, including demands of loyalty, were “normal New York City conversation.”
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As early as 1896, the linguist E. H. Babbitt wrote, “New York City and vicinity is, and always has been, something distinct, not only from the rest of the State, but from the whole current of Anglo-Saxon traditions which has dominated the foundation and continuance of the American commonwealth.”  

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The linguist William Labov, author of a landmark 1966 study, “The Social Stratification of English in New York City,” said on Thursday, in response to a question about Mr. Christie’s remark,* that “there’s nothing known to linguists about ‘normal New York City conversation.’”

[Perhaps both of the statements by linguists are well known to the distinguished members of this list, but they are interesting to me as someone who grew up speaking New-Yorkese (or at least Bronxese).]

Joel

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