Germany 11

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 33

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1975

PLACE OF BIRTH: Frankfurt, Germany

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: German (with Venezuelan and Russian ancestry)

OCCUPATION: actor, student

EDUCATION: some university

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

She has lived in Hong Kong and traveled to Bangkok and other places in Southeast Asia over  a year and a half. Other places lived include Spain (five years), Austria (three years), and Canada (six months), plus briefer stays in many other places. At the time of recording, she had lived in the United States (Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City) for nearly one year.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH: N/A

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

RECORDED BY: Amy Stoller

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 08/12/2008

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

[Interviewer: How old were you when you started to learn English?] I think, ah ja, we had it, oh, when I was, I don’t know, in the fifth grade. So, at seven you come to school, I will be oh, eleven, twelve, something like that? But this is just one hour a week, and I have to be honest, you didn’t learn anything, because everybody? who has the school English, don’t remember any, and uh on something. Yeah, they were German, and they probably sound worse than you know. And, um, yeah, I started to really to to learn English, uh, when I went to Asia, read a lot of books, but there was a problem that they all had the Asian accent. Then I was long time in South Africa, and there had the South African [accent]. And uh, ja, I get my whole life confused with a lot of accents. I speak Spanish; then I had three years Italian in school. But I, uh, don’t speak it anymore, because I mix it with Spanish when I start to learn Spanish. I still understand it? Yeah, and that’s it.

[Subject reads “O Tannenbaum” in German:]
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit,
Nein, auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Wie treu sind deine Blätter!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
Wie oft hat nicht zur Weihnachtszeit
Ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Dein Kleid will mich was lehren:
Die Hoffnung und Beständigkeit
Gibt Trost und Kraft zu jeder Zeit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Das soll dein Kleid mich lehren.

[English translation:]
O fir tree, o fir tree!
How steadfast are your leaves!
You’re green not only in the summertime,
No, also in winter, when it snows.
O fir tree, o fir tree,
How steadfast are your leaves!
O fir tree, o fir tree!
You please me very much!
How often has not a tree like you
delighted me at Christmastime!
O fir tree, o fir tree!
You please me very much!
O fir tree, o fir tree
Your dress would teach me something:
Hope and constancy
give comfort and strength at any time.
O fir tree, o fir tree!
That’s what your dress should teach me.

[English translation by Kathie Coblentz.]

TRANSCRIBED BY: Amy Stoller

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 25/02/2009

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

Occasional errors in English syllable stress, such as emphasis on first syllable of superb, second syllable  of lunatic, second syllable of efforts, first syllable of penicillin.Occasional errors in English vowel length, as in fleece: [fliːs] instead of [fliːs]; can’t: [kæˑnt] instead of [kænt].

Occasional raising of [æ], as in a lot of accents [ˈɛksənts].

Occasional lowerinɡ of [ɛ], as in effective [ɪˈfæktɪf].

Words in the BATH lexical set (aka the “Ask list”) usually pronounced with [æ] but occasionally with [ɑ].

Inconsistent rhoticity; r-colored vowel [ɚ, ɜ˞] before consonants and silences is sometimes absent, and sometimes very hard: That area was much nearer [ˈnɪəɹə] for [fə] her [hɜ˞ ˞], and more [mɔə] to her [hə] liking.

Pronunciation of consonant /r/ before vowels is inconsistent. Sometimes it is a labialized alveolar approximant [ɹʷ], sometimes analveolar approximant without labialization [ɹ]: Mary Harrison [ˈmæɹʷi ˈhæɹɪsən]. Sometimes it is a uvular approximant: grade [ɡʁ̞ɛɪt], which is closer to the speaker’s pronunciation of consonant /r/ in German (uvular trill [R]).

Devoicing of voiced plosives, fricatives, and affricates, especially in word-final position: job [dʒɒp], porridge [ˈpɑɹʷɪʧ]; disease [dɪˈsiˑs], of [ʌf].

Reversal or confusion of [v] with [w], and vice versa: vet [wɛt]; working [ˈvʷɜ˞kɪŋ]. (Per above, however, /v/ in word-final position is devoiced.)

Dentalization of /t, d, n, s, z/ [t, d̪ , n̪ , s̪ , z̪ ].

[θ, ð] frequently pronounced as dental stops [t, d̪ ], usually in word-initial position; also as [s, z], usually in word-final position.

/l/ is clear [l] in all environments.

Occasional use of high rising intonation in closed statements (High Rising Terminal (HRT), aka upspeak, up-talk, or, in the USA, valley-talk), so that many of her declarative sentences sound like questions (indicated here with a question mark (?)). This appears to be carried over from her intonation pattern in German.

German word order: I get my whole life confused with a lot of accents rather than I’ve been confused by a lot of accents my whole life.

Confusion of verb tenses, occasional mistakes in subject-predicate agreement: I will be instead of I would have been; everybody don’t.

Some of the pronunciation errors in the reading of “Comma Gets a Cure” may be attributable to unfamiliarity with the words in question, generally in print, sometimes altogether. For example:veterinary, superb, lunatic, ether, efforts, wiped, course, millionaire. There were also a number of reading errors almost certainly fostered by haste and/or anxiety.

Yew-hew merger in huge [juːdʒ].
English [ˈɪŋlɪʃ] instead of [ˈɪŋɡlɪʃ].
I have to be honest [æv, ˈhɑnɪs].

COMMENTARY BY: Amy Stoller, Unicode trans. Dylan Paul

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

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