Gabon 1

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 53

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 01/03/1959

PLACE OF BIRTH: Oyem, Gabon

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: African (exact ethnicity unknown)

OCCUPATION: writer

EDUCATION: doctorate degree

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

Subject moved to the United States for education, living briefly in Washington, D.C., and in Bloomington, Indiana. She then moved back to Africa (to the Democratic Republic of Congo) with her husband before returning to the United States and settling in Michigan.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

Subject is a Fang speaker. She was taught English in middle school by British RP speakers.  She also speaks French.

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

RECORDED BY: Annette Masson

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 17/07/2012

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, I was born in, ah, Oyem, ah, which is in, ah, the … which is located in the northern part of Gabon.  In Oyem, ah, we speak “Fang.”  “Fang” is our vernacular language, and, ah, French is the, ah, the official language.  I wouldn’t say “the national language” ’cause there is a difference between “national language” and “official language.”  In Gabon, we don’t have “national, national language,” ah, but we have an official language.  So, um, well, as long as I stayed in my, ah, town of birth, I didn’t have any problem with language, but when I went to Libreville, which is the capitol city of Gabon, I was confronted with the idea, ah, because at that time, of course, uhm, it was like you are civilized when you speak French only; and my father who wanted us to be civilized, ah, started imposing that we speak, ahm, French at home.  Ah, eventually, ah, we started speaking French, and unfortunately we started forgetting how to speak our vernacular language, which is “Fang.”  We could understand “Fang” very well. I still could — can — understand “Fang” very well, but it is very difficult for me to speak “Fang,” because of, you know, the habitat we, ah, took from that time; we had to speak French to show that we are civilized and of course, it becomes a problem nowaday because, ahm, now we realize that actually our vernacular language is really important for us, for example, to, ah, to exchange our culture with others; uhm, so that the main issue that I have right now.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Annette Masson

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 17/07/2012

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY: N/A

COMMENTARY BY: N/A

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

The archive provides:

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  • 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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