Tuesday, May 24, 2011


The New York area has a distinctive regional speech pattern called the New York dialect, alternatively known as Brooklynese or New Yorkese. It is generally considered one of the most recognizable accents within American English. The classic version of this dialect is centered on middle and working class people of European American descent, and the influx of non-European immigrants in recent decades has led to changes in this distinctive dialect.
The traditional New York area accent is non-rhotic, so that the sound [ɹ] does not appear at the end of a syllable or immediately before a consonant; hence the pronunciation of the city name as "New Yawk."There is no [ɹ] in words like park [pɑək] or [pɒək] (with vowel backed and diphthongized due to the low-back chain shift), butter [bʌɾə], or here [hiə]. In another feature called the low back chain shift, the [ɔ] vowel sound of words like talklawcrosschocolate, and coffee and the often homophonous [ɔr] in core and more are tensed and usually raised more than in General American.
In the most old-fashioned and extreme versions of the New York dialect, the vowel sounds of words like "girl" and of words like "oil" become a diphthong [ɜɪ]. This is often misperceived by speakers of other accents as a reversal of the er and oy sounds, so that girl is pronounced "goil" and oil is pronounced "erl"; this leads to the caricature of New Yorkers saying things like "Joizey" (Jersey), "Toidy-Toid Street" (33rd St.) and "terlet" (toilet). The character Archie Bunker from the 1970s sitcom All in the Family was a good example of a speaker who had this feature. This speech pattern is no longer prevalent.

No comments:

Post a Comment