Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 11:08:22 -0600 From: "Timothy C. Frazer" Subject: Re: Separate dialects? On Sat, 25 Nov 1995, Daniel S Goodman wrote: > According to dialect maps, the Hudson Valley has a dialect of English > distinct from the dialect of the rest of Upstate New York and Western > Vermont. Since I grew up in Ulster County NY, I presumably speak one of > these dialects. Trying to figure out which one, I've realized that I > hear more variation within what are supposed to be two dialect areas than > I do between them -- in pitch, pronunciation, and vocabulary. > > I'm not a trained observer. But I do wonder whether 1)The differences > between Upstate New York and Hudson Valley have lessened; or 2) the > people who made the original dialect maps were biased toward finding two > distinct dialect areas; or 3) my hearing is worse than I thought it was. I think one reason is that that distincition was made by Kurath's Word Geography, which is based on lexicon. But the lexicon which underlies much of the word geography represents a bygone way of life. Since people do not, for example, make cottage cheese at home anymore, disntinctions like "Dutch Cheese" vs. "pot cheese" have disappeared (according to the maps, "pot cheese" was in the Hudson Valley & came from the Dutch who were there 200 years ago). I don't think the Hudson Valley was ever set apart by phonology or morphosyntax. Tim Frazer Dept of English Western Illinois University Macomb, Illinois 61455