Is the Hudson Valley Dialect still alive?

Paul Johnston paul.johnston at WMICH.EDU
Fri Sep 25 20:13:29 UTC 2009

As someone who comes from the area and NOT from NYC, I'd say the
pronunciation system is very much so, though there seems to be a
difference between say, Albany and NYC outer suburbia.  As a
vocabulary--well, traditional vocab. is highly recessive in most of
the Northeast but I'm sure you could find a layer of words shared by
NYC and the old Hudson Valley of more recent origin.

A story about Hudson Valley vocab: when I was in high school, I did a
project on dialect vocabulary, and found the word "olicook" =
"doughnut" listed as Hudson Valley.  I asked my mother (Monroe, NY
from 1914 to 1956, when the place was rural and tiny) if she knew
it.  She didn't, and said she'd never heard it, from her mother (b.
1879, Brooklyn), fellow Monrovians, or anyone.  Neither had I--until
I came out here to West Michigan, and found students' grandparents,
who not only knew what it was, but gave it a Dutch plural -
[ouliku:k at n] (the -n shows the NE Dutch background of the Grand
Rapids/Holland area; Standard Dutch would write -en, but pronounce -e).

I know there are other native speakers here--what do you think?

Paul Johnston
On Sep 25, 2009, at 2:51 PM, Dan Goodman wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Dan Goodman <dsgood at IPHOUSE.COM>
> Subject:      Is the Hudson Valley Dialect still alive?
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---------
> As I understand it (note:  I'm very much an amateur), the Hudson
> Valley
> Dialect's status as a separate dialect was based on words not found
> elsewhere.  Some of those words have spread; others have gone out
> of use.
> --
> Dan Goodman
> "I have always depended on the kindness of stranglers."
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