Another Reason Why I Love the Graphics at NYT

Dialect and accents play such a huge role in a (im)migrant’s experience. Oftentimes you’re judged as soon as you open your mouth.

This interactive on the NYT was nice. It had me whipping out my Linguistics skills. They pegged me dead on. All three of my “most similar cities” were in Texas. Houston, naturally, made the list. It’s interesting though because, overall, my dialect crossed more with The Carolinas than with Texas.

My mom’s from South Carolina. I spent two summers, countless vacations, and my college life in The Carolinas too.

Do you think those factors (parent’s home state, four continuous years in another region as an adult, vacations, etc…) would trump the dialectal (I may have just made that word up) region where a person is born and raised? I wonder if there have been studies conducted on that.

One of my besties swore I started sounding like a New Yorker after five years in NYC. She said I started dropping my r’s and changing those vowel sounds like the best of them.

New Yorkers, on the other hand, immediately would ask where I was from because they could tell it wasn’t from NYC.

I’m trying to pick up a Venezuelan Spanish accent now…even though I still can’t tell regional accents apart in Spanish. So, we’ll see how that pans out.

Who or what (outside of location) do you think influences your particular dialect? Feel free to write your responses in the comment section.


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