Tag Archives: New York Accent

The Day/Date Split

On rare occasions while writing a post, someone brings up my chosen topic in the comments and I end up discussing what I’m writing about before hitting “publish.” So this post repeats somewhat an excellent discussion I had recently with … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , | 15 Comments

“Princesses,” Reality TV and Disassociation

Much as I hate to admit it, I enjoy reality TV. (Although I can’t stomach the less savory Real Housewives offshoots). Many programs have a regional bent (“Divorcees of Des Moines!”), and I find them sociolinguistically fascinating for this reason. … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged | 17 Comments

On “Local” Place Pronunciations: “Manhattan”

While on a train to New York, I overheard the following from a young man speaking Nuyorican English (i.e. the Latino-American New York dialect): “I’m on a train in Jersey to visit my cousin in Manhattan.” This would be an unnoteworthy … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged | 21 Comments

Drawer-Draw Conflation

I’ve known New Yorkers who, despite exhibiting few traces of “Brooklynese,” pronounce “drawer” as if it were “draw.”* These are folks, mind you, who pronounce each and every other r, yet still maintain this r-less exception. So what’s with “draw?” … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , | 33 Comments

Aristocratic American (Mrs. Roosevelt’s Accent)

I often discuss Received Pronunciation, the British accent which was long the standard of educated speech in England. Although Americans have a hard time understanding how an accent spoken by so few people could be the ‘standard,’ we in fact had … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , , | 28 Comments

Fuhgeddaboudit

Some dialect phrases are so parodied that you question whether they have any basis in reality. Note Irish ‘top o’ the mornin‘ (mostly fiction), Australian ‘g’day‘ (mostly fact), and Cockney ‘guvnor‘ (based in fact, but passé). I would add to … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , | 12 Comments

The ‘Near’ Monophthong or the ‘Near’ Diphthong

In non-rhotic accents, words like ‘near‘ and ‘fear‘ generally exhibit two pronunciation patterns: either a ‘centering’ diphthong (ɪə), which might crudely be transcribed ‘ih-uh;’ or as a monophthong, which is usually a lengthened version of the vowel in ‘kit‘ (ɪ:). … Continue reading

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Posted in English Phonetics | Tagged , , | 28 Comments

The Brooklyn Accent (And the City it Stands For)

Like almost any theatre student in New York, I spent my share of time during college at the Drama Book Shop. Naturally, I always gravitated toward the voice and speech section of the shelf. I remember browsing through a book … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , | 7 Comments

‘The Jersey Shore’ & Jersey Accents

While in a hotel room the other night, I watched a few episodes of MTV’s The Jersey Shore.  For those living on Mars these past two years, the show follows a group of young ‘Jersey’ layabouts during a raucous summer on the … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , | 26 Comments

More Thoughts on the New York Accent

I somehow missed this NY Post piece, in which Kara Becker, a linguist at Reed College in Oregon, pens a broad overview of the long decline of the ‘classic’ New York City accent. It’s a good read for anyone who wants to get … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged | 21 Comments