Alabama 12

Both as a courtesy and to comply with copyright law, please remember to credit IDEA for direct or indirect use of samples.  IDEA is a free resource; please consider supporting us.


BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 20s

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1980s

PLACE OF BIRTH: Birmingham, Alabama

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: African-American

OCCUPATION: student

EDUCATION: When recorded, subject was a broadcast-journalism major at university.

AREA(S) OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:

Subject has lived in Alabama all of his life.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

Subject has made a conscious effort to “speak properly” because of his major in broadcast journalism and has been involved in theatre in undergraduate school, which he thinks may have had an impact on his speech as well.

The text used in our recordings of scripted speech can be found by clicking here.

RECORDED BY: Daydrie Hague

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 12/12/2007

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

Well, growing up in Birmingham, I was often picked on a lot because of the way that I spoke. Several of my peers would say that “uh James, you sound white, or you know you speak too proper, why you don’t use slang or anything?” And that always bothered me, and I was like, “What is sounding black?” Um, my mom always taught me to speak proper English, and that’s what I did. I think a good portion of it is that I worked to kind of get rid of my regionalism, ’cause I kinda knew that I would like to be either an actor or be in news. You know you really don’t, you shouldn’t have a Southern drawl when you speak, so I just had to, I tried my best to get rid of it. I guess that’s one of the contributing factors to why I speak this way. I guess now in college, people commend me on it so I don’t get picked on about it any more. So that’s just …

TRANSCRIBED BY: Daydrie Hague

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 12/12/2007

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

The subject’s speech, particularly in his extemporaneous speaking, is characterized by very relaxed consonant action, particularly with regard to plosive release in the final position. So you’ll hear “thasss whad I did” or “almos’” for “almost.” Linkage is also very relaxed; one word just slides into another. There is a softening of the diphthong on [aI] and the occasional i/e substitution on words like “sentimental.”

COMMENTARY BY: Daydrie Hague

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 12/12/2007

The archive provides:

  • Recordings of accent/dialect speakers from the region you select.
  • Text of the speakers’ biographical details.
  • Scholarly commentary and analysis in some cases.
  • In most cases, an orthographic transcription of the speakers’ unscripted speech.  In a small number of cases, you will also find a narrow phonetic transcription of the sample (see Phonetic Transcriptions for a complete list).  The recordings average four minutes in length and feature both the reading of one of two standard passages, and some unscripted speech. The two passages are Comma Gets a Cure (currently our standard passage) and The Rainbow Passage (used in our earliest recordings).

 

For instructional materials or coaching in the accents and dialects represented here, please go to Other Dialect Services.