NYC_English_slides - New York Metro Dialect Andrew...

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New York Metro Dialect Andrew Canariato N-234 Office Hrs: Mondays 10:15-11:45 2/4/10
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New York Metro Dialect NYC English, like other dialects, is not homogenous. There is great variation throughout the region – ‘The NY Metro Area’, which includes the five boroughs, LI, the Lower Hudson Valley, and areas of Northern NJ. All dialects are bundles of phonological (sounds) morphological (word parts), semantic (meaning) and syntactic (grammatical) features. People who share the same ‘dialect’ need not uniformly share the same features. But there will be commonalities. Dialects are always changing, because features are always receding or spreading in a community. The features commonly associated with a region/dialect may be accurate or inaccurate, historical, or exaggerated. Impressions: How do people talk in the NY Metro area?
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Features of New York English R-less (Non-rhotic) Previously a prestige feature used by the upper class in Manhattan, Westchester and surrounding areas. Now commonly used in the outer boroughs and on Long Island. Becoming rarer in Manhattan. Stratification and William Labov’s Department Store Study (conducted in 1962) Interviewer enters three New York City department stores and approaches clerks with some variant of the question “What floor is this?” or “Where are X (women’s shoes,
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