I was born and raised in New York City, and while I have lived in nearly every borough, I can confidently say that I’ve lived most of my life in Queens. My parents both spoke five or more languages and would most certainly have wanted me to be at the very least trilingual. Despite the aforementioned, I am really only fully proficient in English, and most French. Part of that is definitely due to my father passing away when I was three years old, and the rest of it has to do with my mother wanting me to speak English excellently. With all this in mind, my lanaguage is English, and my dialect is Northeastern American English.
My dialect of English includes quite a few flaws I wasn’t made aware of until recently. For example, just last week, I was telling a coworker (he is not originially from New York) a story and I said “So I was standing on line…” My coworker immediately mocked me “on line?” he asked. I was shocked. I asked him if “in line” was correct and he said according to the conventions of standard spoken English, “in line” is more commonly used, and therefore regarded as correct. I couldn’t believe I had been saying this simple phrase wrong my entire life. Furthermore, people often associate a heavy accent with “New Yorker” English. I see this as negative, as I do not possess this accent, yet many people that I meet criticize me as being a liar when I tell them I’m from New York City. It usually leads to an argument on whether or not you must have a regional accent- and I say no. For this reason, I believe there general public views my language and dialect as stigmatized.
There are quite a few factors that go into people’s determination of how they percieve a particular dialect. For example, I personally percieve people from mid-west U.S. and more Southern States as less intelligent in general. This is nearly solely due to the “Southern accent” that a lot of regions in the U.S. contain. I feel that when it comes to the perception of Northeastern American English, people stigmatize it. This is due to social status mainly, but partially racially as well. Socially, people generally see New Yorkers as lower-class and less intelligent. Racially, many white Southern-State Americans are aware that there are a plethora of immigrants in New York City especially, and this view our dialect as highly broken English.