Iceland 1

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 59

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 18/01/1953

PLACE OF BIRTH: Reykjavik, Iceland

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Icelandic (exact ethnicity unknown)

OCCUPATION: realtor

EDUCATION: MBA

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

Subject references coming to the United States as a student but does not make it clear when that happened, or how long she has been in the United States.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

Subject can also speak and understand Danish.  She learned English at the age of 12 from British-trained Icelandic teachers.

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): 24/07/2012

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, ah, let me, ah … when I first came to this country, I, um, I was a student spouse, and as such you’re not allowed to work, and so I started cleaning houses for people and I didn’t speak any English.  Ah, I’d learned it but only on reading and translating, never speaking.  And so, I, I got this job when … from … with an old lady who was bedridden, and my job was to go to her. I was there for like three or four hours a day, clean and cook her evening meal and grocery shop.  And I … and … and she decided she was going to teach me two English words every day, and she did.  And she also taught me how to grocery shop, because I, I did not know.  Grocery stores to me, were … they were just … they were so huge and there were so many soaps and I was wor- … used to everything coming from Germany, most, more or less, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden and Iceland, and then when everything here was American, so I had no idea how to … and she knew the store from A to Z, and she’d go “You go down that way and you find it on that shelf and the other shelf,” but she was so proud to teach me … teach me words every day.  She would … she would look for them and think about how … how to teach them to me, and … and once, she had this mirror on her dining room table and I, I kept … you know … and she loved this mirror, and I had to polish it.  And that was one of the words she said “Polish it,” and I said ”um, polish this.”  But, ah, so that, so that was sweet and she was really … she was lovely, um, and I learned a lot of English and … but it, it, ah, took, took me three months and then, since then I haven’t shut up probably. Yah, but my accent was probably heavy. I, I tried to get rid of it for the … for the first five years, I worked pretty hard at getting rid of it, and then I realized that people liked it.  But I still have to worry about the “v’s” and the “w’s” because I … there are no “w’s” in Icelandic and so there’s no … that sound is not there.  And I still have to, like I said to you before, “Hollywood Video.”  I have to concentrate on which one … where’s the “v” and where’s the “w,” I can easily say” Hollyvood … Hollyvood Video.”  And “sh” sounds and “ch” sounds we don’t have and those are hard.  So I’m … I’m often making “sh” “ch” “z” (zed) kind of mistakes.  And the “r’s” in Icelandic are very hard.  And I, I think … I would imagine the “r’s,” ah, come through pretty hard, because they’re very hard in Icelandic …“rida, rumpa, roompa, rah.”  They’re rolled, serious rolling of “r’s,” so I had to learn to kinda soften, soften that a little bit because you don’t have those rolling “r’s.”

TRANSCRIBED BY: Annette Masson

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 24/07/2012

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

Notice the hard “retroflexive r” as a substitute for the Icelandic rolled r.  “S” and “z” substitutions occur at ends of words and in plurals.  Also, subject has noted the lack of “w” sounds in her original language.

COMMENTARY BY: Annette Masson

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 24/07/2012

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