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View Poll Results: Which states do you believe belong in the Mid-Atlantic region?
New York 75 61.48%
New Jersey 87 71.31%
Pennsylvania 88 72.13%
Delaware 92 75.41%
Maryland 92 75.41%
Virginia 60 49.18%
West Virginia 25 20.49%
North Carolina 15 12.30%
Other (please specify) 4 3.28%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 122. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-08-2014, 07:40 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
There's a Puerto Rican guy at the 1:13 mark who says "I grew up with a lot of Italians, so they always thought I was an Italian." So I guess being around different types of people rubs off on you to some extent. I meet some Asians with full blown New York accents. And I come across a lot of Jamaicans with the accent. Less with Trinis, Bajans and Guyanese. At the 1:59 mark, there's a Black woman who says "I must have the thickest Brooklyn accent in the world because people pick it up automatically."
Hmm. Years ago, there was a "guess my accent" thread started by a black or Puerto Rican New Yorker. Almost everyone said he had a thick NYC accent. I didn't pick up on the NYC accent; I thought it was an obvious hispanic accent. There's enough of an ethnic accent difference that locals will pick up on it immediately and of course white NYers often don't think of black NYC accents as NYC accents.

Ah, here it is:

Official Post Your Accent Thread (while the rest of us guess what city/state/region you're from)

I guessed Puerto Rican not black.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I do think more intense segregation in other cities may have played a role. I don't see what else it could be. When you meet a Black person with a full blown New York accent, it becomes pretty clear they didn't get it from their grandparents who moved up from Georgia.
I don't think that's necessarily true. Northeastern cities like Philadelphia have traditionally been very racially segregated. Philly was just about as racially segregated as cities like Chicago were. New York is more of an anomaly because of the constant influx of immigrants from all over the world including a very large Afro-Caribbean population. It definitely had a huge effect on NYC's African American population. Boston's Black population was pretty segregated as well.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Hmm. Years ago, there was a "guess my accent" thread started by a black or Puerto Rican New Yorker. Almost everyone said he had a thick NYC accent. I didn't pick up on the NYC accent; I thought it was an obvious hispanic accent. There's enough of an ethnic accent difference that locals will pick up on it immediately and of course white NYers often don't think of black NYC accents as NYC accents.
Never quite understood how so many people fail to pick up the "New York" in the accent. It sounds similar to any other New York accent with obvious Latin undertones. The Spanish language, compared to English or French, often has a much more rapid fire, "machine gun" type of cadence to it (though most people describe Mexican Spanish as more "sing songish"). That cadence comes out when they speak English. It's similar to how Yiddish syntax comes out when some older Jews talk ("All the day long I waited for him to bring those knishes").


Rosie Perez Didn't Know She Had an Accent - YouTube


How To Speak With A Spanish Accent - YouTube
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:06 PM
 
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I remember reading somewhere that about a quarter of the Black population in NYC during the 1920s/1930s was from the Caribbean. But it can't explain Philadelphia's distinctiveness given that it doesn't have a significant Caribbean population.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
I don't think that's necessarily true. Northeastern cities like Philadelphia have traditionally been very racially segregated. Philly was just about as racially segregated as cities like Chicago were. New York is more of an anomaly because of the constant influx of immigrants from all over the world including a very large Afro-Caribbean population. It definitely had a huge effect on NYC's African American population. Boston's Black population was pretty segregated as well.
West Indians in NYC don't speak any differently from Black Americans. If anything, they adapt their speech to fit Black American speech patterns. A lot of older Black Brooklynites have thick New York accents--I'm talking about people who grew up in Bed-Stuy in the 1950s and 60s. Brooklyn is a West Indian mecca today, but that's much more of a recent phenomenon. Spike Lee's Brooklyn didn't feature a Flatbush Avenue lined with roti shops.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KodeBlue View Post
Blacks in the Midwest came from Mississippi and Arkansas, while blacks in the Baltimore area came from the Carolinas. Three of my grandparents are from North Carolina (Raleigh) and one from Virginia. I wonder why the DC area's AA accent is so much different from Baltimore's given the proximity
Yeah, Blacks from Virginia and the Carolinas went to NYC and Philadelphia, those from Alabama went more to Cleveland and Detroit, and those from the Mississippi Delta went to Chicago. California Blacks tended to come from Louisiana and East Texas.

Not sure about Upstate NY cities like Buffalo and Rochester.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:15 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King of Kensington View Post
I remember reading somewhere that about a quarter of the Black population in NYC during the 1920s/1930s was from the Caribbean. But it can't explain Philadelphia's distinctiveness given that it doesn't have a significant Caribbean population.
This politician's (grew up in Bed-Stuy in the 50s) accent I can't notice anything distinguishable from typical white NYers of that generation.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8voPuhXj9bY
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:16 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,985 posts, read 41,937,844 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
West Indians in NYC don't speak any differently from Black Americans. If anything, they adapt their speech to fit Black American speech patterns. A lot of older Black Brooklynites have thick New York accents--I'm talking about people who grew up in Bed-Stuy in the 1950s and 60s. Brooklyn is a West Indian mecca today, but that's much more of a recent phenomenon. Spike Lee's Brooklyn didn't feature a Flatbush Avenue lined with roti shops.
I've heard comments (from older whites) that local NY blacks sounded southern back in the 60s but they don't anymore. Or rather those that grew up here later on.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I've heard comments (from older whites) that local NY blacks sounded southern back in the 60s but they don't anymore. Or rather those that grew up here later on.
That makes sense if someone had just up and moved from South Carolina to Harlem. Here's an example of a woman who grew up in Philadelphia in the 30s and 40s.


Going to School In Philadelphia - YouTube
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,254 posts, read 26,226,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King of Kensington View Post
I remember reading somewhere that about a quarter of the Black population in NYC during the 1920s/1930s was from the Caribbean. But it can't explain Philadelphia's distinctiveness given that it doesn't have a significant Caribbean population.
If there's any West Indian influence on Black American speech in NYC, then I don't know what it is. And this is coming from someone who hears the entire gamut of West Indian accents every day (Trini, Bajan, Guyanese, etc). For the most part, Black West Indians just adopted the dialect of other New Yorkers. A lot of West Indians with standard NYC accents.
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