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Old 05-30-2013, 06:17 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Northern cities vowel shift - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

American Accent Undergoing Great Vowel Shift : NPR

Don't know if it could be called an accent, maybe the Great Lakes accent, but it's most noticeable in words like 'black' and 'bad.' Many in the region who have it don't really notice it, but people from elsewhere can often identify if someone is from Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo or Milwaukee by this accent.

I haven't visited the region, but it seems that it doesn't seem to be as widespread among other races as white people. I don't think it's a class thing, like the NY accent, where it's milder in the rich. Most urban blacks in Chicago etc have a kind of southern accent. What about say Asian or other non-whites who live in the Great Lakes?

Is the NCVS spreading to the younger generation of non-blacks?
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis (St. Louis Park)
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Mainly, yes, but not exclusively. Unlike NY'ers African Americans in the Midwest do not take on the local accent with any pride, and usually have the predominant Southern drawal. MOST Hispanics and Asians have very thick Hispanic or Asian accents, and are not very assimilated with local culture yet (I am not speaking for each and every person, but rather, in general). Midwest cities are fairly segregated and polarized, which I think is the reason you have less assimilation and cultures tend to be isolated from one-another (still).
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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It should be easy to figure out. Lebov says "about 34 million" are included in the shift, so just see if the populations of those cities add up to 34 million including or excluding their black populations. Lebov lost all his credibility, to me, when he threw out that 34-million figure.

What degree of implied accuracy does the expression "about 34 million" imply. Between 33 and 35 million? Or between 20 and 50 million? What led him to say "34 million" instead of "35-million' or "30 or 40 million"? If anyone uses such expressions of implied accuracy which cannot possibly be sustained, I have a tendency to call BS on pretty much every other condescending assertion he makes with pompous certitude, as well.

This is not to say I don't think there is actually such a vowel shift taking place. Vowel shifts are constantly taking place in all languages, as Lebov correctly states. I cannot see Lebov, but I will bet my farm that he is white, because with very rare exceptions, it is easy to hear the difference when hearing a black speaker, whether from a Northern City or not.

Last edited by jtur88; 05-30-2013 at 08:36 AM..
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Yes, it's a white thing. Blacks and Latinos don't have it.

FWIW, Canadians don't do it either, despite being just across the lake from most of these cities. Thus the American and Canadian accents are diverging pretty rapidly
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:41 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,352,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Northern cities vowel shift - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

American Accent Undergoing Great Vowel Shift : NPR

Don't know if it could be called an accent, maybe the Great Lakes accent, but it's most noticeable in words like 'black' and 'bad.' Many in the region who have it don't really notice it, but people from elsewhere can often identify if someone is from Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo or Milwaukee by this accent.

I haven't visited the region, but it seems that it doesn't seem to be as widespread among other races as white people. I don't think it's a class thing, like the NY accent, where it's milder in the rich. Most urban blacks in Chicago etc have a kind of southern accent. What about say Asian or other non-whites who live in the Great Lakes?

Is the NCVS spreading to the younger generation of non-blacks?
I meant 'block' not black. Block sounds like black.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:43 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,352,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
It should be easy to figure out. Lebov says "about 34 million" are included in the shift, so just see if the populations of those cities add up to 34 million including or excluding their black populations. Lebov lost all his credibility, to me, when he threw out that 34-million figure.

What degree of implied accuracy does the expression "about 34 million" imply. Between 33 and 35 million? Or between 20 and 50 million? What led him to say "34 million" instead of "35-million' or "30 or 40 million"? If anyone uses such expressions of implied accuracy which cannot possibly be sustained, I have a tendency to call BS on pretty much every other condescending assertion he makes with pompous certitude, as well.

This is not to say I don't think there is actually such a vowel shift taking place. Vowel shifts are constantly taking place in all languages, as Lebov correctly states. I cannot see Lebov, but I will bet my farm that he is white, because with very rare exceptions, it is easy to hear the difference when hearing a black speaker, whether from a Northern City or not.
Yes the 34 million might just be an arbitrary figure including everyone within the area where the NCVS is present, but wouldn't account for all those who don't show the features.

I also disagree with him that regional accents are diverging more...he says the accents in LA and St. Louis are more different than ever, maybe in this case there is the development of a Californian accent, but I think the Southern accent for instance is declining among some young people.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Yes the 34 million might just be an arbitrary figure including everyone within the area where the NCVS is present, but wouldn't account for all those who don't show the features.
You don't just pick 34 out of the air as an arbitrary number. An unrounded number implies exactitude rounded to the first zero or five reading from the right.. Is it the entire population within a certain perimeter? Or only the white population within a perimeter? Or only the urban population within a perimeter? Does the Northern Cities Vowel Shift number of 34-million count Detroit and Cleveland, but not Toledo? Toledo but not Fort Wayne? Fort Wayne but not Kokomo? Kokomo but not Loogootee?

To specifically answer the OP's question, the Wiki article states that "The shift is mainly found in European American speakers. Speakers of African American Vernacular English show little to no evidence of adopting the shift."

Last edited by jtur88; 05-30-2013 at 04:12 PM..
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Western Oregon
472 posts, read 480,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
You don't just pick 34 out of the air as an arbitrary number. An unrounded number implies exactitude rounded to the last unrounded digit. Is it the entire population within a certain perimeter? Or only the white population within a perimeter? Or only the urban population within a perimeter? Does the Northern Cities Vowel Shift affect Detroit and Cleveland, but not Toledo? Toledo but not Fort Wayne? Fort Wayne but not Kokomo? Kokomo but not Loogootee?
Of course there's a gradual shift in most areas, and usually not a smooth one. It wouldn't be straightforward where to draw the line in most places.
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Somewhere extremely awesome
3,024 posts, read 2,461,585 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Yes, it's a white thing. Blacks and Latinos don't have it.

FWIW, Canadians don't do it either, despite being just across the lake from most of these cities. Thus the American and Canadian accents are diverging pretty rapidly
It's mostly a white thing, although not entirely. From what I remember reading, younger black speakers are starting to adopt some of the beginning stages of the shift - often times using the flat a sound in apple but not making "cot" sound like "cat." As for Hispanics and Asians, I would say that outside of a few areas in the region such as Chicago, they're fairly well dispersed and haven't really been able to form their own communities, so some of them have the Northern Cities Shift (or at least elements of it,) especially if their families have been in the Great Lakes area for a while. Often times with Hispanics, it seems to be mixed in with typical Chicano accents.

On the other hand, I know this is anecdotal evidence, and possibly against what the research is saying, but it seems like the Northern Cities Vowel Shift is decreasing amongst people under 40 or so. It's still there, but a bit less grating and more mainstream American.
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Hollywood, CA
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I've heard a few Blacks speak in the stereotypical White Chicago accent where blocks sound like blacks and so forth.
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