The short-a split in a suburban area of the New York City dialect region
Keywords:sociolinguistics, sociophonetics, New York City English, Long Island, short-a split, change in progress
AbstractIn American English, the most common pattern for the pronunciation of the allophones of the vowel phoneme /æ/ is the "nasal-split," where the vowel is tense (raised, fronted) when followed by a nasal consonant and lax (lowered, backed) otherwise. In contrast, historically New York City English (NYCE) has had a "complex short-a split" with different conditioning factors for each allophone. This paper reports on new data from the eastern edge of the NYCE dialect region: suburban Nassau County, Long Island. Using word-list data from the sociolinguistic interviews of 24 high school students, aged 14-18, and 7 of their teachers and mentors, this paper shows that while young speakers in this region are moving towards the wider American nasal-split, the local version of that nasal-split still includes components of the traditional NYCE complex-split.
Published by the LSA with permission of the author(s) under a CC BY 4.0 license.
How to Cite
Shapp, Allison. 2018. “The Short-a Split in a Suburban Area of the New York City Dialect Region”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 3 (1): 63:1–10. https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v3i1.4358.