dialect of Elena Kagan

Geoff Nathan geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU
Wed May 12 01:21:34 UTC 2010

I've only done a quick listen to the link Tom posted, but she has pretty much a classic, if understated, New York accent. Both the /ay/ vowel and the /oh/ vowel are typical NYC. The way she says 'law' and 'all', as an open-o with a schwa off-glide (not raised, however, so not what used to be a lower-class version), and the /ay/ vowel (as in 'time') with a slightly rounded nucleus (technically backwards script-a).

I tried using IPA in these messages a few turns back and it turned into gibberish, so I won't bother.

She's not an 'awe-dropper', of course, because she lives east of the Mississippi (simplifying immensely...).


Geoffrey S. Nathan
Faculty Liaison, C&IT
and Associate Professor, Linguistics Program
+1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)
+1 (313) 577-8621 (English/Linguistics)

----- "Tom Zurinskas" <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:

> From: "Tom Zurinskas" <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>
> Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 8:54:12 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
> Subject: dialect of Elena Kagan
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      dialect of Elena Kagan
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Elena Kagan.  I can't hear West side NYC at all.  Pretty standard USA
> accent.  Not an "awe dropper".
> http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/05/11/meet-elena-kagan?utm_source=email54&utm_medium=image&utm_campaign=court
> Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL7+
> see truespel.com phonetic spelling
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