Do any Canadian regions speak with a Noo Yawk accent?

I’m listening to a disc by Canadian vocalist Holly Cole. At several points, I hear a distinct New York City accent. That seemed odd to me, as I’ve never associated it with any Canadian dialect.

Upon further thought I recalled that many in the New Orleans area have what could be heard as the same accent. New Orleans was settled by Cajuns - French Canadians. So what’s the story?

No. Certainly none that I’ve been aware of. She may just be hamming it up for the performance, in the same way that Mick Jagger would try to effect a southern US accent in some songs.

I see she’s from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and although some maritime accents can be quite pronounced, in an almost Irish fashion, the Haligonian accent is pretty flat and normal Canadian-sounding.

I don’t think she’s doing it intentionally. It occurs during several songs and not in points where she is enunciating the lyrics. It ruins my mood because it’s not a pleasant sound and also reminds me of Barbra Streisand, who I do not like.

I’ll listen again and try to find an example to link to

I heard what sounded like a Boston (non-rhotic) accent on a Great Big Sea disc (Courage and Patience and Grit, iirc). It was distinctively non-rhotic (like a Boston(“Hahvahd”), NYC, or London accent), and unlike an Irish, Scottish, General American, or General Canadian accent. The accent did sound like a Boston one, not a NYC or an over-pond one.

I read somewhere that non-rhotic pronounciation in Canada is confined to a small area in Nova Scotia.

Here’s an interesting write-up on accents in Montreal, which are varied to say the least. Certain ones, (I’m thinking Cote-St-Luc) can definitely be mistaken for a New York accent at times. Link

From Wikipedia

Nunzio Tavulari writes:

> Upon further thought I recalled that many in the New Orleans area have what
> could be heard as the same accent. New Orleans was settled by Cajuns -
> French Canadians.

New Orleans was not settled by Cajuns:

As you can see, Cajuns settled in the area to the west of New Orleans.

One of the accents heard in New Orleans is the Yat dialect, which does indeed sound like an old-time New York accent, probably because many of the people who settled there were of the same ethnic origin as the people who settled New York:

On the Canadian side of the Niagara River, the locals speak with a standard Canadian/Ontario accent, with absolutely no trace of the very heavy Northern Cities Vowel Shift/Inland Northern accent spoken on the American side.


I was going to say what **Renton_lvr **also said: The accents in Montreal are very interesting, and often unique. I’ve heard a lot of people there in the “English” community talk with accents reminiscent of New York accents.

By the way, my Dad says sabotage just like William Shatner.

Canadian Accent: How’s it going, eh?

New York Accent: Hey, how’s it going!

Well her father Leon Cole was a CBC announcer for many years and had no trace of a NY accent. He spoke beautifully incidentally.

As for the wiki entry quoted above, there is a Montreal Jewish accent that I can (barely) detect, but it is nothing like the NY accent and in case quite mild. And I think it is disappearing. The Jewish immigration to Montreal was a generation later than the immigration to NY. In fact, it probably moved into high gear (I speculate) after the US cut off most immigration in the 20s.

Canadians can speak with a variety of different American accents, we’ve been bred on your TV programs all our lives! :smiley:
When I was a kid, before cable, we could only pick up the major networks out of Rochester, NY and PBS out of Watertown, NY. We all spoke with the upstate NY accent, especially during PBS’ membership drives.

“Please, send us your Dall-airs!”

I would say that Holly Cole ‘performs’ her songs instead of just singing them. To my (southern Ontario) ear she over-pronounces her r’s.

Which songs were causing the dissonance? Is it like Larger than Life in the last couple of minutes of the NPR performance below?

When she talks, though, it sounds like a normal Canadian accent.

Here is a 1996 interview: TVO Video
Here is a 2008 interview/performance: NPR Audio

No region anywhere on earth*, other than New York, has a native population to speaks with a New York accent.

I grew up in New England, but live in CA now. Most people out here cannot tell the difference between a NE and a NYC accent. Of course, I struggle differentiating among the various Southern accents myself, having spent so little time there.

*except maybe parts of Florida. :slight_smile:

I didn’t hear it in the NPR song. What I’m hearing is the opposite of over-pronouncing R’s and my recollection of New Yawk is that there are very few spoken there.

Listen to this YouTube video from the 1:50 to 2:50 marks. One lyric she clearly pronounces the R in care, then immediately afterward she says hawt instead of heart. She does that same thing with fire staht. I can accept that as the emoting, and maybe it’s hard to make R’s sound pleasant when they come at the end of a lyric.

But it’s more than just the R sound, it’s the consonant that precedes them. I think the suggestion of a Jewish inflection is more accurately what I’m hearing rather than strictly New York. This is most evident when she says faw this toime
instead of for this tyme. In fact, just a short while later she pronounces this time entirely differently.

I now think the original answer and yours - that she is ‘performing’ is accurate. I hear short bursts of this affectation and then it’s back to normal. Which is why it stood out so much to me originally. In the end, I decided that I didn’t enjoy her music, so the answer is inconsequential.