Germany 5

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 44

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 09/1957

PLACE OF BIRTH: Castrop-Rauxel, Germany

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: German (exact ethnicity unknown)

OCCUPATION: chair of the math department at a large university

EDUCATION: Ph.D.

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

He was raised in Essen, Germany. He received his doctorate from the New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States. He now lives in Auburn, West Virginia, United States.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH: N/A

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

RECORDED BY: Daydrie Hague

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 29/02/2001

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 September 1957, close to the town where I grew up, which is Essen, in Germany. My parents were born in 1925, in Dortmund, which is in the same area, the Ruhr area; the two towns are separated by about 25 miles. The language spoken in the Ruhr area is basically a mixture and … of various dialects, because people have immigrated from many parts of Germany, there my maternal grandfather was coming from Northern Germany, and my paternal grandfather was coming from Pomerania, which is now Poland. I don’t have that information on my grandmothers, so I cannot tell you that. I … have been living in Essen, which is the sixth biggest city in Germany for 20 year, almost 20 years; four years I lived in Castrop-Rauxel, which is a very small town outside Essen, somewhere between Dortmund and Essen. I always joke, my family has made best of migration, first my parents traveled 10 miles west from Dortmund, then another 10 miles; then I traveled then 5,000 miles west from Germany. I attended school in Essen, and finished in 1976, what is called the gymnasium; that is the equivalent of a high school in Germany. After that, I studied for four years mathematics at the University of Essen, where I received a master’s degree in 1980. After finishing my studies, I went to Las Cruces, New Mexico, where I stayed for two years, and received a Ph.D. in mathematics. After my stay in Las Cruces, which I enjoyed very much and I learned to love America, I decided to return to Germany, and I worked there for one year in the University of Duisburg, which is also in the Ruhr area, another 10 miles west of Essen. Well, unfortunately, the job situation in Germany at that time was very best, bad, I since enjoyed being in America and had connections to American universities, and I thought my English was more or less okay, except that I can never pronounce a “w” correctly, if I think about it, [laughs], unless I think about it very, very carefully. I decided to return to the United States; I stayed for a year, almost a year in West Virginia, then I came down to Auburn, where I have been since 1984. I’m working at the math department at the moment, and, somewhere, I presume, I will retire from Auburn at one point.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Faith Harvey and Stu Richel

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 17/03/2008

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

He tells us that that his speech contains influences and echoes of the various tribes that settled Germany in the 11th century; he characterizes it generally as High German. He received his doctoral degree in mathematics from the University of New Mexico, taught briefly in Germany, and finally emigrated to the United States 17 years ago. He currently chairs the math department of a large university in the South of the United States. Many of the characteristic sounds of this dialect are found in its consonant substitutions: [v] is substituted for [w] in the initial and medial positions, so you hear “ven” for when and “skvare” for square; [d] changes to [t] in the final position, so it’s “birt” for bird; and often a final [z] will be heard, as an [s]. In the [r] and its derivatives, you hear an educated speaker who is modifying his back trilled [r] and dropping it at the ends of words. Vowel changes include short [a] to short [e], as in “beck” for back, and relatively pure [o] and [e] (ay) vowels, which would be treated as diphthongs in American speech.

COMMENTARY BY: Daydrie Hague

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 29/02/2001

The archive provides:

  • Recordings of accent/dialect speakers from the region you select.
  • 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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