England 68

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 37

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1970

PLACE OF BIRTH: London

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: black

OCCUPATION: actor, writer

EDUCATION: master of art degree

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

Subject was in Chicago, Illinois, in the United States, at the time of this recording.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

Subject’s parents are from Grenada.

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

RECORDED BY: Tanera Marshall

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 16/09/2007

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

I learnt to speak RP simply because I was — or at least my version of RP — because I was fed up with people having to put “man” at the end of a sentence to make me understand, as it were, you know.  People would say, “Hello, man” and you know I would get really pissed off and I would be, like, I really don’t want people to do that, so that means I need to be able to sound like they do. And I say “they” as in the white middle classes, as opposed to the white working classes.  My accent in the second one is closer to a kind of working-class black accent— a working-class London black accent — which is heavily influenced by the kind of South London (as opposed to Cockney) versions of English and also from our Caribbean … you know like you’d say /d/ as opposed to /th/ and you’d say “de” as opposed to “the” etc., etc.  And so my second accent was much … was influenced very much in the way I spoke when I was a child, was influenced very much by the environment of my class as well as the environment of my Eastern Caribbean culture.  But actually, in real terms, what I gave you was my straight London accent, and then the one before that was my straight RP. But if I was to do a West Indian, even that would be different. Well, you know … my mudda and my fadda come from Granada and, you know, that’s how we talk when we are home.  We say “Eh, eh boy, wha’ goin on?” So that would be … there’s a completely different melody and comes out of a different place in my voice.  My father sounds exactly the same as he has sounded since I was a child, and my mother probably confirms that he sounds exactly the same as he did when he first came to the country, I think.  My mother — her accent slightly softened, but my mother was kind of middle-class Grenadian, so her accent was slightly different to my father’s, slightly more refined and slightly lighter, so it was easier for her accent to lose itself more.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Tanera Marshall

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 01/10/2007

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

Subject shows a typical modernized RP, with casual flow and music, r-dropping, and elongated vowels. His London sample exhibits typical Estuary characteristics: glottalized vowel beginnings (in the air); glottalized /t/ (white, light, beautiful); voiceless /th/ becoming /f/ (path); /g/ dropped (boilin’); velarized /l/ (gold, miracle); Americanized /ai/ diphthong (white, find it); and voiced /th/ becoming /d/ (the, there). He’s not very nasal, compared to other Londoners.

COMMENTARY BY: Tanera Marshall

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 16/09/2007

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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