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How to Do a Long Island Accent

Learn how to do a Long Island accent from voice and speech coach Andrea Caban in this Howcast video.


So Long Island is a very big place. We're going to zero in on one Long Island accent here. And the person that I studied, to bring these tips to you, was a Yittish first language speaker. So, her lip corners were very tight, and the back of her tongue was very high so that a lot of sounds became nasalized. So if you saw it through this oral posture, you get haa, haa. You hear that? A very, very, nasal sound. Go for that one. The ough sound in thought, coughst, doughg, becomes thought, coughst, doughg. Comes a [inaudible 00: 43], two elements. Oughr, oughr, oughr. I thought it was going to be houghrible. I thought it was going to be houghrible.

I kind of pretend that my nails are drying to get really into this accent. I thought it was going to be horrible. There are no R's at the end of some words, so there, care, player, try that. The T sound becomes almost like a ss sound. So, Sony takes his time going to Long Islands. Sony takes his time. Ss. Ss. Ss. Hear that? So what's the musicality of this nasal accent? Well it's very nasal-i, so that affects some of the way the words are pronounced. So, words like apartment become apoughtment.

So there's no T. It's apoughtment. All through the nose. There's a lot of pitch variety in this accent. There's a lot of up glides at the ends of thoughts. But don't take my word for it. Go listen to some native Long Islanders. Long Islanders. And listen to it that way. Train your ears, train your eyes, and train your tongue.

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