Talk:New England English

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Merge discussion[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Following this discussion, pages were not merged. Cnilep (talk) 16:34, 19 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The regional variety of English described on page Boston accent is variously called Boston English, Maine-New Hampshire English, Boston dialect, Boston accent, Eastern New England English, or New England English. The page Vermont English appears to be an attempt to describe the variety also known as Western New England English or sometimes considered a variant of Inland North American English. The page New England English describes both of these varieties, as well as a slightly divergent form spoken in Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut. In addition, Maine-New Hampshire English exists as a redirect to New England English, and Providence, Rhode Island accent exists as a redlink on the page List of dialects of the English language.

Boston accent is currently the largest of these various pages. Is there sufficient information to justify keeping all of them separate, or should they be merged for the time being?

Note views that can be seen as opposing this proposed merge in older, unrelated discussions at Talk:Boston accent#Requested move and above. (What is "opposed" above is redirecting Vermont English to New England English.) Cnilep (talk) 05:16, 1 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Support merge. While in principal it may be possible to describe many divergent forms within New England, at present there don't seem to be sufficient sources for the current division. Cnilep (talk) 05:16, 1 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Partial Support, I think that Vermont English should be merged but I am not that sure about Boston accent. -- (talk) 15:11, 1 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. "New England English" does not exist; in principle, this page should be a disambiguation page to pages on the various dialects spoken in New England. I take it that your argument is mainly that there isn't enough written about all of these dialects to have a separate page for each, though. But: Boston accent certainly is long enough to hold its own page, and is moreover the most well-known of the various New England accents (certainly popularly, maybe within linguistics as well). So perhaps "New England English" should have sections about the various New England dialects, with a "see main article: Boston accent" link on it under the Boston heading. But certainly Boston accent shouldn't be fully merged into this article. AJD (talk) 06:42, 9 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Hmm, see my comment above: this article should be a "dialectology of New England" overview. AJD (talk) 06:43, 9 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Within linguistics there is a long tradition of describing the English of New England (under various names) as distinct - see for example The Linguistic Atlas of New England (1933) on up to the Atlas of North American English (2006). But at the same time, nearly all such treatments further divide the region into some number of sub-dialects. Drawing clear boundaries is always difficult and somewhat subjective, which I think is another reason to rely on published sources. Cnilep (talk) 10:31, 10 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Strongly Oppose. The Boston accent or any other cannot be compared to Vermont English because there isn't just a slight difference. My uncles, grandfather, grandmother, and cousins all speak in the dialect that is being considered to be merged, and it is difficult for me to express in words how different it is. Words such as cow are pronounced kee-ow, calf is k-eah-ff, ride is roid. It is being lost because of the age of those who spoke it, but there are some of us who still remember it and are trying to preserve its memory. I fear that if it is merged and not distinctly represented, it will be treated as something obscure and not as a distinct dialect that is a very strong part of Vermont's history. Please examine these sources for additional documentation on the accent and please reconsider this action. Vermonters thank you, and I thank you. The articles are How They Talk In Happiness, Vermont, Talking Bah-k In Vermont, and Exmining the Vermont accent. Monsieurdl mon talk 15:59, 20 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. When I went to Vermont last year, I was surprised to find that their dialect was much more like my Michigan accent than a typical Boston accent. Not exactly the same, though. Since this article describes something unique, it should not be merged. (It should be expanded and improved, though. It could use some work, in all fairness.) Lovelac7 02:47, 11 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
  • Strongly Oppose. Aside from geographic proximity I find much of my father'd family's accent more similar to Sussex or Kent, England than Boston. I admit due to television, emigration/immigration and general cultural homogenization this has lost some ground, yet recent change seems to push Vermont English more towards the American midwest than Boston, or Maine. (talk) 17:55, 2 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Prominence of these accents in question[edit]

I grew up in Connecticut, and went to university in Rhode Island. From my experience, these accents are not very prevalent anymore. Where I grew up and went to school, people mostly spoke with varieties of General American or that posh Mid-Atlantic English / Boston Brahmin accent. While in Providence I did most certainly note the local accent, it was in heavy decline. Furthermore, outside Providence, it seemed even more rare. I think this article needs to address that these accents are not used by the majority of the population in big parts of New England, especially Connecticut and Rhode Island. Perhaps this because of the large amount of incomers, or perhaps because these accents have been stigmatized over the years. Regardless, this article, to me, made it seem like most of New England possess these various features. And at the moment, I'm pretty sure it doesn't. RGloucester (talk) 16:50, 30 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Do you have any sources to cite for this? The fact that you don't sense that it is very prevalent isn't enough to change the focus of the article. People from an area often don't feel like the features that characterize that area are as prevalent as they are. If you have some solid sources to cite showing that some features described here are actually not very common, then fine, but if it's just an impression, we should stick to what is out there, since wikipedia is not the place to report original observations. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:42, 3 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Original research and map removed[edit]

I noticed these recent edits to New England English and they are not cited and appear to be original research. While they may be the editor's observations, the citations in the article don't support the statements and the added map.

Thanks, BCorr|Брайен 16:00, 15 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Notable lifelong native speakers section[edit]

In "Notable lifelong native speakers" can someone add a few more female speakers examples? In this category, it has overwhelmingly male examples. Can anyone please add balance? Thank you. PaperJakee (talk) 00:31, 26 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The map has a green zone labeled as exhibiting the Canadian Maritime dialect. This claim is uncited, and appears to be based on a misinterpretation of map 11.15 from the Atlas of North American English. The Atlas does not claim or present evidence that any part of Maine exhibits the Maritime dialect, and indeed has no data whatsoever on the dialect of that part of Maine. The boundary in map 11.15 appears to inclde that part of Maine just because of imprecision in the Atlas's boundary drawing. The map in this article is misleading in that respect, but I can't edit the image itself. Can someone fix this? AJD (talk) 07:02, 19 September 2015 (UTC)~Reply[reply]

@AJD: Oh hi, sorry. I can change the map. You're right that I can find none of the wording in the ANAE actually supporting that section of Maine. I originally simply assumed that it must be a dialect spoken in the state since the map showed it; it's hard for me to believe the authors would be so imprecise. To be honest, I'm a bit confused by how they determine several of the boundaries on their maps (since I feel like sources have shown that other boundaries, too, have ended up being imprecise, but imprecision is not what I think of when I think of the ANAE). Do you have any insight into this? Wolfdog (talk) 16:43, 25 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Areas of New England Miscategorized[edit]

This article (and the map) seem to confuse the regions of New England. Massachusetts and Boston is not considered Northeastern New England. Massachusetts is in Southern New England, the only states in Northern New England are Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

The more accurate layout is:

Northern New England

  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont

Southern New England

  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut

Then if you want to break them up eastern versus western:

Northeastern New England

  • Maine
  • Majority of New Hampshire (sometimes the entire state is considered Northeastern)

Northwestern New England

  • Vermont
  • Western border of New Hampshire (sometimes considered Northeastern)

Southeastern New England

  • Massachusetts from Worcester to Boston
  • Rhode Island
  • Eastern border of Connecticut (sometimes considered Southwestern)

Southwestern New England

  • Massachusetts from the Berkshires to Worcester
  • Majority of Connecticut (sometimes the entire state is considered Southwestern) — Preceding unsigned comment added by MrJARichard (talkcontribs) 14:27, 19 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@MrJARichard: In the 2006 Atlas of North American English's chapter 16 on New England, the authors say "The lexical evidence available to Kurath (1949) led him to reduce these [New England linguistic] regions to three: Northeastern (Eastern New England north of Boston), Southeastern (the Boston area and the Narragansett Bay area centered on Providence) and Southwestern (the Connecticut Valley area centered on Hartford and extending northward to western Massachusetts). [...] The new dialect divisions based on DARE data are somewhat different from Kurath (1949)[....] The essential difference is that Kurath groups Boston and Providence together, opposing them to New Hampshire and Maine, while the DARE evidence makes Boston the center of Northeastern New England, and segregates Providence quite sharply. In the revised view based on DARE data, the major dialect area of Northeastern New England includes southern Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont east of the Green Mountains, and all but the westernmost part of Massachusetts. The Narragansett Bay area surrounding Providence is distinct from Massachusetts, expanding only a little ways beyond Rhode Island to east and west" (pp. 225-6). Wolfdog (talk) 17:20, 25 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

February 2017[edit]

There is discussion of recent edits to this page scattered over several user talk pages: User talk:ValarianB#Hey there, User talk:RA0808/Archives2017/February#hello, and User talk:Cnilep/Archive/10 April 2017#Hi. As I understand it, a user from Vermont has consulted various published sources, and is attempting to bring this content in line with his/her understanding of the local dialect. I have suggested on my talk page that discussion of this article should be centralized on this talk page. Cnilep (talk) 00:23, 17 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]