DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1960s
PLACE OF BIRTH: Sligo, Ireland
OCCUPATION: actor, theatre director and founder of internationally known theatre troupe
AREA(S) OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:
Subject was born and raised in Sligo, in northwest Ireland.
OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:
Accent influence is a mixture of rural Monaghan (from parent’s place of origin – more northern) and a well-educated Sligo dialect.
RECORDED BY: Paul Meier
DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 27/09/1999
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:
My name is Mikel Murfi; I am born in Sligo, which is in the northwest of Ireland, just under Donegal, County Donegal and above County Mayo. My parents were both from Monaghan originally, which is why I would have an accent which is slightly, it’s a mixture of things, it’s a mixture of, eh, two rural Monaghan accents and, eh, carefully educated Sligo accent. The accent in Sligo which, eh, is, eh, let’s take the town, the urban accent in Sligo is a much flatter accent like that someone would say, “When the sunlight strikes raindrops in the air, they act as a prism and form a rainbow. The rainbow is a division of white light into many colors. These take the shape of a long round arch, with its path high above, and its two ends apparently beyond the horizon.” More working class, urban, eh, Sligo accent and, eh, my, my accent is a combination of those since I was educated with a mixture of, eh, people of classes in my, in my eh, in my school and then my parents obviously had accents which were both from Monaghan and the Monaghan accent is much, eh, much more northern; it’s: “When the sunlight strikes raindrops in the air, they act as a prism and form a rainbow. The rainbow is a division of white light into many beautiful colors. These take the shape of a long round arch, with its path high above, and its two ends apparently beyond the horizon.” You know. [Interviewer: In the show, you do so many different voices.] Yeah, and they’re different all and they’re different only because, like I mean the character definition requires that you try an, and manage a different voice but the play’s set in Cork and while we would’ve tried to head south with our, with our dialects and sort of stuff like that, you know we would notice if you were, like you are, a, a dialect coach that, that we’re not specifically all one accent. Lou is the only actor from Cork, and his accent actually as it is in the show is quite, ehm, quite posh Cork, you know, educated … posh Cork plus the accent that he would’ve had would’ve, which would be quite a west British accent that he would’ve learned in Trinity College in Dublin at the beginning of the nineteen hundreds. But, eh, mm, Raymond and Veronica probably have more true versions or heading in the right direction with Cork accents than I am actually, eh, with their characters, ehm, Raymond is from Dungarvan so he’s, he’s that part of the country, he’s more likely to sort of come up with a correcter accent. And we’re gonna be doing Translations, uh, we’ve done a lot of Brian Friel stuff. [Interviewer: What a, what’s your take on the, on the Donegal of Brian Friel’s plays?] It’s well, I, I, you know, I think productions of his plays generally get treated very well in our Ireland in the sense that the National Theatre, The Abbey or any of the main theatres that produce his work, if any of it is rural work like Translations is set in rural communities, well then people make an effort to talk with a Donegal accent, as we were talking about the other night, it’s not necessarily correct, the Donegal accent that we use now, it’s a contemporary accent and when the play is set-you can get away with the idea that, eh, you know, people don’t have exactly, exact Donegal accents, do you know what I mean? A Donegal accent, eh, if I had one … (Interviewer: Of the thirties, for instance] Yeah, if I had one I’d, I, I’d give it to you, but it’s like, I mean, eh, eh, eh, it’s a very, very definitely a northern accent, it’s eh, it’s Monaghan d, Monaghan accent, uh, “When the sunlight strikes the raindrops in the air, they act as a prism to form a rainbow.” A Donegal accent is quite lilting like that; it’s northern and it’s but it’s softer somehow and, eh, ehm there’s a great guy who, who … I should actually, you know, record some of him when I go home and send him over to you. He’s a guy called Frank McCafferty. He’s a very well known Irish actor who’s from Donegal.
TRANSCRIBED BY: Phil Hubbard
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 23/05/2008
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
If you are a dialect researcher, or an actor using this sample to develop your skill in the accent, please see my instruction manual at www.paulmeier.com. As the speaker in this sample is a unique individual, it is highly unlikely that he will conform to my analysis in every detail. But you will find it interesting and instructive to notice which of my “signature sounds” and “additional features” (always suggested only as commonly heard features of the accent) are widely used by most speakers of the dialect and which are subject to variation from individual to individual.
COMMENTARY BY: Paul Meier
DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 22/10/2016
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