I moved to California in 2001, after having commuted every couple of weeks from New York since 1999. Ever since then, and even before then whenever I would travel outside of New York City, people tell me that I couldn’t possibly be from New York City, because I don’t have a New York accent.
Well, hah! Finally, I have “scientific proof” (or at least one linguist’s corroborative test results) which prove that I’m a New York City native. According to Tom Kun’s very interesting American Regional Accent Map:
So it turns out there is more than one New York Accent. According to Kun, there is another variant of the famous “fuggedaboudit” New York accent. Here is Kun’s explanation:
Q: How did you know I was from New York City when I don’t have an accent?
This is the best part of avoiding stereotypes and focusing on obscure stuff. If you say caught and cot differently, rhyme on with don, and say Mary, merry and marry differently, you can’t be from anywhere besides NYC, north Jersey, and southern New England. It doesn’t matter if you pronounce all your R’s.
If you’d like to test yourself and find out what sort of American accent you have, try the online survey.