District of Columbia 1

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 17

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 08/03/1997

PLACE OF BIRTH: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Caucasian

OCCUPATION: student

EDUCATION: senior in high school

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

Subject was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and lived there until age 2. She then lived in Alexandria, Virginia, for a year. She lived in northwest D.C. for the fourteen years after that, and, at the time of this recording, was also living part time in Takoma Park, Maryland, near the NW/NE border of D.C.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

Her mother is from eastern Massachusetts (Springfield) and her father is from Potomac, Maryland/Washington, D.C. Her paternal grandparents are Irish immigrants from Cork and Limerick.

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

RECORDED BY: Emma Keyes

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 26/06/2014

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

I was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at the UNC Hospital. I lived there for two years, um, until we moved to Alexandria, Virginia, for a year, and then after that I have lived in and around Northwest D.C. for the past 14 years, um, including Takoma Park, Maryland, which is near the northwest/northeast, uh, border of D.C. Uh, my mom is from western Mass, er, no, eastern Massachusetts, um, and Connecticut. She grew up in the New England area. My dad is from around here — um, my, on my mom’s side we are — I’m I, I’m Italian and French Canadian, and on my dad’s side I’m fully Irish; uh, I even have Irish citizenship. So, yeah, I go to public school here in D.C., so I picked up, um, a variety of terminology and slang and stuff from just interacting with all different kinds of people. Uh, I think the most typically D.C. thing that I s- well not typically D.C., but the D.C. slang I use the most is “I can’t fade that,” like — it’s like, uh, I can’t — can’t even deal with that sort of, but, uh, it’s very commonly used around, uh, the people I know. I remember in middle school for a while everybody would call things “guh” instead of stupid. They’d say “Yo, that’s guh.” And it was always funny to us because you’d talk to kids from private schools or from, you know, the suburbs and they would just have no idea what that meant. So that was a very like quintessentially public school D.C. term, which I think is kind of cool. Um, I do think it’s weird my mom has all this weird Massachusetts slang, so she’s all [weird voice] “It’s not a yard sale, it’s a tag sale ‘cause you put tags on the items,” and we’re like, “Mom, all right.” But I do think I get, um, my pronunciation of “aunt” over “ant” from her, which I think is the only thing that’s Massachusetts-y about my accent; I don’t really know, but, uh, I don’t know if I have a typically D.C. accent or not but I’ve — pretty much the entire time I’ve been speaking I’ve been living here, so I must to some extent.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Emma Keyes

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION: 26/06/2014

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

Subject speculates that she may not have a true D.C. sound but admits that she probably does to some extent because she’s lived in the District virtually her entire life. However, it should be noted that her dialect — which is quite close to General American, with the possible exceptions of some vocal fry and a softer “a” in words such as “that” — differs dramatically from the one found in the poorer, predominantly African-American sections of D.C.

COMMENTARY BY:  Cameron Meier

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY):  13/08/2014

The archive provides:

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  • Scholarly commentary and analysis in some cases.
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