Thursday, December 13, 2007


Buffalo English, is sometimes colloquially referred to as Buffalonian, is the unique variety of English occasionally used in and around the U.S. city of Buffalo, New York. The distinctively Buffalonian accent is usually only strongly present in lower class speakers and is diminishing rapidly (as are most other city dialects, such as Baltimorese). The most commonly heard speech style and cadence nowadays heard in Buffalo is indistinguishable to most listeners from that spoken in any of the large cities along the Great Lakes. Most speakers of Buffalonian English perceive Standard American English as unaccented, though the reverse may not be true. The zone in which Buffalonian English is found is a region extending to Buffalo on the west, Rochester on the east, Lake Ontario to the north, and Bradford, Pennsylvania to the south and roughly corresponds to the radio and television broadcast market of Buffalo.
Technically, the variety is part of the Inland North dialect of American English, which spreads from Utica, New York to Wisconsin, and is therefore more like the local speech of Chicago and Michigan than New York City. However, as Buffalo and Buffalonians are in some respects tied geographically and culturally to southern Ontario (taste in sports, the presence of no less than three Canadian television stations as "local" stations, and the fact of sharing a city boundary with Canada itself), there is a very slight tendency towards a Canadian-flavored English amongst Buffalonians of all classes. While outright Canadian raising is not strongly present in Buffalonian speech, the speaker of Buffalonian English tends to be predisposed to it and may switch to it effortlessly and unintentionally when traveling in Canada. Other minor Canadianisms, such as ending sentences with the interrogative "eh?" are present (occasionally as "hey?" in Buffalo). For example: "He was there, hey?"

Buffalo EnglishBuffalo English Speakers

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