I had a lengthy blog post prepared today but got caught up on a specific detail that I’d like to get your advice on.
The clip in question is that of this college TV news reporter at Central Connecticut State University. He notably has a Central Connecticut Accent:
You’ll be able to notice some of the salient features of Central CT accent here (t-glottaling, LOT-fronting, etc), but what really caught my interest was the rhythm of this young man’s speech.
This guy has something that might be referred to as a “mumble:” consonants, vowels and entire syllables are often reduced or elided completely. In fact, I found this feature so intense that I actually had a hard time understanding his accent at a few points … and I grew up 45 minutes away from Central CT.
Just to give on salient example, listen to the phrase “…ticket or showing up to class late…” that occurs at 0:37. For most accents of English, relatively equal stress would be put on “class” and “late,” so the phrase would come out a bit like:
“…ticket or showing up to class late” with perhaps a tad more emphasis on “late”
But for this young speaker from Central CT, the word “class” (which strikes one as vitally important to the meaning of the sentence) is said so quickly and with so little stress that I almost didn’t hear it:
“…ticket orshowingptclss late”
So here’s my question: is this merely a marker of the supposedly lax diction of the young? Or is this an actual accent feature?
I mention this because I’ve known a number of people from this region who have had a similar “mumble.” I have (I swear) had two separate co-workers from the Hartford area who have been criticized for their diction (or lack thereof). Am I wrong in thinking this might be an actual regional feature? Or is this just how the young people talk these days?
(And if you want to comment about any other features of this young man’s accent, feel free!)