Friday, February 24, 2012

Pittsburgh – “the Galapagos Islands of American dialect”

Just because this ranks among the best titles ever.. from the Vancouver Sun today: Pittsburgh – “the Galapagos Islands of American dialect”

and the author may not appreciate it completely... but the linquist/geographers might already have research on how migration impacts language.  Pittsburgh which clearly has had one of the lowest rates of in-migration within the US over the last decades may indeed be seeing a language impact...

I will leave that to the experts to develop more fully.. except to say that it is clearly spelled Yunzer with a "U" and the "i" only became colloquial with the New Yinzer magazine some years ago. 


Anonymous RoboticGhost said...

I remember the original NYT article, and I wonder now as I wondered then, what sort of linguistic calcification, if any, has the region experienced as a result of low immigration. I've noticed what I can only describe as micro dialects in specific neighborhoods. I can pick a native Greenfielder out in a crowd, for example. Some of that must be the result of decades of cultural ossification. Any linguists out there have any insight?

Friday, February 24, 2012 11:18:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

The new Greenfield has electric car charging at the Giant Eagle.

Saturday, February 25, 2012 9:39:00 AM  
Blogger JRoth said...

When I moved here 21 1/2 years ago, I'd see it spelled both ways, although it was often pointed out that yunz was a better phonetic spelling.

You could probably check the Pittsburghese t-shirts in the Strip; they haven't changed since at least the 90s.

A classmate from the South Hills told a very funny story that included the phrase "Yinz mawkin' us 'n'at?", and it was probably closer to yinz than yunz.

Come to think of it, it's reasonably likely that different neighborhoods tend more towards one or the other.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 5:54:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I think I am going to push for everyone to use yünz

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 7:55:00 PM  

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