Hudson Valley English
|Hudson Valley English|
|(no estimate available)|
A spectrum of American English varieties is spoken in the Hudson Valley region of New York State, which, closer to New York City, borrows features of the New York City dialect and, closer to the Great Lakes region, borrows features from the Inland North dialect. The Hudson Valley varieties, otherwise very similar to General American, center around the cities of Albany, Amsterdam, Oneonta, Poughkeepsie, Schenectady and Troy.
Generally, all consonants and most vowels in the Hudson Valley varieties align to those of the General American accent. However, there are a few notable vowel sounds similar to those found in the New York City and Inland North dialects.
Like in New York City, the caught vowel of the maintained cot-caught distinction often undergoes raising and diphthongization to [ɔə] or [oə]. There are two main /æ/ (or "short-a") systems documented in the Hudson Valley. The more distinct of the two is a simplified version of the New York City split-/æ/ system found in the core of the Hudson Valley dialect area spanning from New York's northern suburbs to the Capital District. This system splits /æ/ into tense and lax allophones without producing any new phonemes (as is the case in New York City). The tense allophone is used before non-velar voiced stops, voiceless fricatives, and nasals and the lax allophone is used elsewhere. Unlike in New York City, the tense allophone is always used before tensing consonants even in function words and regardless of syllable structure and morpheme boundaries. The other short-a system is a nasal system in which /æ/ is raised to a value approximating [ɛə] or [eə] before nasal consonants. This is more common in the parts of Hudson Valley dialect region further from the core. The raised allophone before nasals in the "Hudson Valley fringe" has been used to explain the inability of the first stage of the Northern Cities Shift (whereby /æ/ is raised universally) to expand into the Hudson Valley.[page needed]
The Hudson Valley dialect has not undergone the Inland North's Northern Cities Vowel Shift, but two features of the shift have diffused into the dialect: /ɑ/ is fronter than /ʌ/ (as, also, in New York City) and /ɛ/ is typically less than 375 Hz fronter than /ɑ/.[page needed]
- Dinkin, Aaron, J. (2009). "Dialect Boundaries and Phonological Change in Upstate New York (Dissertation Defense Handout)" (PDF). University of Pennsylvania (self-published online).
- Dinkin, Aaron, J. (2010). "The Present-Day Dialectological Status of the Hudson Valley" (PDF). University of Pennsylvania (self-published online).
- Dinkin, Aaron; Friesner, Michael (2009). "Transmission or Diffusion? NYC-like short a in Southeast Florida and the Hudson Valley" (PDF). University of Pennsylvania (self-published online).