Is That New England Accent in Retreat? (The New York Times)


[[{“type”:“media”,“view_mode”:“media_large”,“fid”:null,“attributes”:{“class”:“media-image alignright size-full wp-image-1606”,“typeof”:“foaf:Image”,“style”:“”,“width”:“100”,“height”:“100”,“alt”:“New York Times”}}]]The New York Times reports on a study by James Stanford, an assistant professor of linguistics and cognitive science, Kenneth Baclawski Jr. ’12, and Thomas Leddy-Cecere ’10, who say New England’s distinctive accent is fading away.

The erosion of the accent, especially among young people, extends well beyond the famous “pahk the cah in Hahvadh yahd,” the authors say. “After so many generations of consistent transmission,” they write, “the social patterns laid down by the founders are now rapidly shifting and dissipating in the current generation.”

With help from a team of Dartmouth students, the authors interviewed dozens of citizens in New Hampshire and Vermont. After analyzing their subjects’ speech patterns, the authors determined that the traditional east-west speech border had moved eastward, and that among the young, the accent seemed close to vanishing.

Read the full story, published 8/15/12 in The New York Times.

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