PITTSBURGHESE: ORIGINS, IMPORTANCE AND IMPACT
FOX CHAPEL AREA BRANCH OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN
How on earth did the word “yinz” come to be? And why is Pittsburgh the only place on the planet where everyone perfectly understands the itinerary when someone says “yinz are goin’ dahntahn?” Humorous, homespun, and totally ours (who else would want it?), Pittsburgh’s funky dialect is the focus of this month’s engaging presentation.
Barbara Johnstone, Professor of Rhetoric and Linguistics at Carnegie Mellon University shares her theories on the origins of our idiosyncratic speech in her recently-published book Speaking Pittsburghese: The Story of a Dialect (2013, Oxford University Press). She’ll explain how Pittsburghese evolved over the course of half a century and weave the story of how the word “yinz” today illuminates how Pittsburgh speech has moved from being a local dialect to representing a set of ideas about what it means to be and sound like a Pittsburgher. In other words, how residents of this region have collectively created our own special “brand”, through words and phrases . . . n’at.
The public is welcome to attend this AAUW-sponsored presentation, and the program is free.