Archive for 'Losing It'

Learn to Speak New York

Immigrants and native New Yorkers still try to change the way they speak in this city – wanting fit in, be accepted by peers, and most importantly, be understood by everyone they speak to. Today’s linguists may have accepted the idea that there is no one correct way of speaking, but most people continue to hold deep-seeded and often negative perceptions about themselves and others based on the way they speak.

Snap Judgments – Accent, Discrimination and Identity

Right or wrong, we’re all guilty of accent discrimination, says Dr. Jillian Cavanaugh, a professor of linguistic anthropology at Brooklyn College.

You Talk Funny – Accent Reduction in New York City

The demand for accent reduction specialists in New York has increased in recent years, many practitioners in the field have observed. While most linguists and speech pathologists no longer make value judgments about how people speak, prejudices about accents remain.

Stop Talking African – Code-Switching on Staten Island

Even on Staten Island, traditionally the city’s most homogeneous borough in this linguistically diverse city, a growing Liberian refugee population is code-switching to assimilate. Even though they speak English, language poses a significant barrier to acceptance at school and work. Schools on the Island, facing a clash of languages and dialects in the classroom, encourage students to use an “inside” or “classroom” dialect at school.


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