Voices of New York is a project undertaken by Professor Renée Blake (in the Departments of Linguistics and Social & Cultural Analysis at New York University) and her undergraduate students (in the course The Language of America’s Ethnic Minorities). The goal of the project is to hear the voices of immigrant communities in New York City (NYC), and learn about the people behind them. The students have traveled throughout the boroughs of NYC to seek out neighborhoods and communities where ethnic cultures are thought to be flourishing. There, they discover the degree to which the distinct languages (LOTE: Languages other than English) are being maintained or lost in the context of an English-speaking nation, and the implications for cultural distinctiveness or assimilation. The findings of this sociolinguistic research are presented here as a digital humanities project, Voices of New York. project, Voices of New York.
The Voices of New York project allows us the opportunity to learn about the degree to which ethnic communities in New York City have changed over time demographically, culturally and linguistically; and what the contributing factors may be. This multi-year project reveals the dynamic nature of an ever-changing city.