Friday, September 20, 2013

English in the 305 has its distinct Miami accent

People learning English in different parts of the country learn it with the local accents.    - - Donna Poisl


MIAMI (AP) — Sometimes you can tell where someone is from by the way they talk. New Yorkers, Bostonians, Chicagoans — their accents are distinct, recognizable.

The Miami accent is harder to pinpoint. But there is one and Miamians need only cross the county line to be singled out for the way they draw out their vowels or linger on certain syllables. More noticeably, most Miamians speak with a certain Hispanic twang, the influence of decades of Latin American immigration that has made a mark on the language of Miami natives, even those who don't speak Spanish themselves.

"What's noteworthy about Miami English is that we're now in a third, even fourth generation of kids who are using these features of native dialect," said Florida International University sociolinguist Phillip Carter, who studies language in U.S. Latino communities. "So we're not talking — and let me be clear — we're not talking about non-native features. These are native speakers of English who have learned a variety influenced historically by Spanish."
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