The distinctive accents of NYC are fading. To remind yoruself of how they used to sound listen to the video, the narrator gives a brilliant display of linguisitic dexterity. That video was made in 2009 but 6 years later those accents she demonstrates are fading fast.
One big reason is the changes wrought by gentrification where people move from other NYC areas into old established neighborhoods such as Brooklyn and Queens. Then there’s the constant flow of immigrants from all corners of the world adding in ever new accents to the heady mix of what is already here. And of course many of people who used those accents are now older and the youngsters coming through speak differently.
Then there’s the internationalization of Manhattan. Manhattan is attracting an ever rising tide of people who move in circles where everyone sounds just like everyone else, an international sound common among the well to do.
Of course the change in accents brings a mixed response. People used to distinctive accents in each borough are sad about the flattening out of pronunciation. But the busy young professionals who come to NYC to get ahead wonder what all the fuss is about. It won’t be long before this wonderful video on the accents of NYC will be a footnote in a film or book that looks at changes in NYC through time.