Most Americans know the notorious long o’s and w’s of the New York accent—do they really tawk like that?—and the fast pace and frequent interruptions of New York conversational style. Elements of New York speech are unique to the city’s Jewish community, and it has often been Jewish New Yorkers, like Mel Brooks and Bernie Sanders, who have represented New York speech in American pop culture.

Join the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Museum of the City of New York for a program exploring what distinguishes Jewish New York speech and its evolution over the last century.

Featured Panelists:

  • Dr. Michael Newman, Professor of Linguistics at Queens College, City University of New York, and author of New York City English;
  • Heather Quinlan, writer and filmmaker who directed the documentary If These Knishes Could Talk: The Story of the New York Accent;
  • Dr. Deborah Tannen, bestselling author and Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University who published her doctoral dissertation on “New York Jewish Conversational Style;” and
  • Dr. Elyse Graham (EJ White), Associate Professor of English at Stony Brook University and author of You Talkin’ To Me?: The Unruly History of New York English

The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Lilly Tuttle, Curator at the Museum of the City of New York.

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