England 51

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 50s

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1940s

PLACE OF BIRTH: Devizes, Wiltshire

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: white

OCCUPATION: banking, school lunch-room worker

EDUCATION: schooling until age 17

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

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

She is married to subject England 50.

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

RECORDED BY: Paul Meier

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 07/2002

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 Devizes in a place called Ivy House, which was a nursing home. I was born in 1943 on the 19th of April. And I was born on a day called Primrose Day, uh, and someone suggested to my mother she call me Primrose, but I’m very glad she didn’t. Ha, ha, ha, and that’s true. I had a sister called Avis who was 18 months younger than I, and, uhh, my father at the time worked for, uhh, the Water Board, and he later then worked for a brewery. Uhh, my mother had been a nurse, and when we were older she did private nursing and also what was then called district nursing and is now called something else altogether; I can’t think what [laugh]. And we went to the Catholic school until we were 11.  And then we took what was then the eleven-plus, but instead of going to the grammar school, we went to the convent school, which was, uh, run by nuns, and we were taught by nuns.  They were very strict but very fair. Um, I then, uh, when did I leave school?  I left school when I was about 17.  And I worked in Lloyd’s Bank or a bank like theirs. By which time I got married, and I then had three children. Uhh, I’ve now got five grandchildren ranging from 11 to, uhh, 2 and a half. I think that’s probably all I shall have I don’t think I’ll have any more [laugh]. Um, Wiltshire is, uhh, got its fair share of superstitions; uhh, my father’s family was very superstitious. Uh, I don’t know whether the sort of superstitions are, are, are just, um, general for the whole country or whether they’re just part of Wiltshire things, but, uhh, uh, you didn’t put shoes on the table, you didn’t cross knives, you didn’t break a mirror, you didn’t bring lilac or mayflowers into the house, uh you didn’t um put an umbrella in indoors, if you heard an owl hoot it meant there would be a death in the family, if you saw one magpie by itself it was bad luck.  It’s one for sorrow, two for joy and the rest of the verse, a Wiltshire, uh, Wiltshire expression but not any expression but just part of the Wiltshire language. “Thou casn’t see as well as you cou’st cast, [?]” [laugh] which means you can’t see as well as you could, can you? And there’s lots of others, but I mean I don’t know a great deal because, uh, well we didn’t use them; I mean my parents didn’t use them. But a lot of the farmers did and all the country folk did …

TRANSCRIBED BY: Cassi Stuckman

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 11/02/2008

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

Subject would describe herself as urban working class. As such, her Wiltshire accent is not nearly as strong as more rural farm laborers, for example. Out of the house, she has worked for many years in a school lunch room. You will hear the distinctive r-colored vowels in “cure,” “nurse,” “force” and “fair.” The Canadian rising vowel can be heard in “private” and “implied.” The “l” in “palm” is sounded. She concludes the recording with some Wiltshire superstitions and folklore, and a phrase spoken in strong archaic Wiltshire dialect.

COMMENTARY BY: Paul Meier

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 07/2002

The archive provides:

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  • 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).

 

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