England 47

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 22

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

PLACE OF BIRTH: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: white

OCCUPATION: student

EDUCATION: At the time of this interview, he was at university, sixth form.

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

At the time of this interview, he was studying abroad in the United States, at the University of Kansas.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH: N/A

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

RECORDED BY: Becky Lake

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 16/04/2002

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 Cambridge, England, in 1980, and I was raised there and I still live there, although I go to a university in Leicester. My primary school was set in my village. It was a Church of England primary school, so I had to go to the occasional service where you put the candle in the orange, and we had a very strange vicar there who once seemed to have one of his friends along for communion, and his friend was a bit drunk, and so I fell into the communion table and it caused a massive clatter. Also we formed the choir of the church every time there was an angel service going, and we had a teacher they called Mr. McKinder who actually ran the football team. He was a very good football team trainer because we won every single game because he’s ruthless. But he was an atheist, so we started singing Chas and Dave songs instead of actually the songs we were supposed to be singing. Anyway, so I left there when I was 11, and then I went to secondary school in Sorsten, which is a village college near to where I live, about three miles away. But that was a terrible school, full of pikies, really, and just generally a sort of slightly depressing place. So I stayed there for five years, and then I went to school in Cambridge, Sixth Form College, which is a very, very good school; still is quite a good school. My brother and my sister both went there. My dad went there when it was actually Cambridge High School for Boys. He went there with Sid Barrett of Pink Floyd, and I think Dave Gilmour went there as well, I think. I’m pretty sure. And I think Roger Waters also went there. I think all three of them actually went there. My dad was actually in scouts with Sid Barrett. He went to scout camp with him and Sid Barrett offered him a spliff. Of course my dad turned it down. At least that’s what he told me. But my uncle — I think my uncle’s lying though — claims that he once shook hands with Jimmy Hendrix at a rock festival and then dropped acid with him, but I don’t trust that for a second. Then I took a gap year and worked in the Cambridge University library for a year, which was fun because there was absolutely no work whatsoever, and then I decided to go to the University. And I end up in Kansas, which is a lot of fun, actually.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Becky Lake

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

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

His dialect falls somewhere between classic R.P. and Cockney, tending to sound at times more like Cockney. He wouldn’t be considered modern Estuary, since the Cambridge dialect differs from London dialects. Since he apparently is from the upper-middle class, I don’t doubt he has been exposed to more R.P.-sounding dialects, but he tends to speak a bit lower than his class. I notice that his other British friends studying abroad in America sound this way as well. There are occasional glottals and Cockney-like vowel sounds. His tone and rhythm tend to vacillate between R.P. and Cockney, depending on the situation. He has a different, more Cockney-sounding tone on his radio show, which is lessened somewhat when he is talking to you personally. Conversely, the way he addresses adults seems to be a bit more consciously R.P. than when he is talking to me, a fellow student. This is an example of the code-switching phenomenon as people speak differently depending on the situation. This is an r-less, non-rhotic dialect, as in vicar, choir and terms. Some other things to note include: EI changes to aI in table, atheist and Dave; i changes to schwa i in team, me and cheek; o changes to Eu in supposed, joke and though; d changes to t in clatter; -tary endings contain just one syllable, as in secondary and veterinary; a changes to o in Watts and rock; aI changes to oi, as in library, hygiene and slight; glottals are present, as in “lot of,” “a bit” and “better”; ae changes to a, as in can’t; and u changes to ju, as in stupid.

COMMENTARY BY: Becky Lake

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 16/04/2002

The archive provides:

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  • Scholarly commentary and analysis in some cases.
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