Italy 15

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 47

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 09/10/1966

PLACE OF BIRTH: Erice, Sicily

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Caucasian Italian

OCCUPATION: Italian lecturer/professor

EDUCATION: master’s degree

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

The speaker was raised in Naples, Italy. She has lived in London, U.K., as well as Leeds, U.K., and Munich, Germany. Inside the United States, she has lived in Colorado, Missouri, and Lawrence, Kansas.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

The speaker’s first language was Italian. I’m not sure which Italian dialect she grew up speaking, but at KU she teaches Tuscan Italian. The speaker is also fluent in German and English.

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

RECORDED BY: Jordyn Cox (under supervision of Paul Meier)

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 07/11/2013

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

So I was born in Erice. Erice is a small town on the western coast of Sicily, and it’s very beautiful. It was founded by the Greeks, and there are ruins dating back to many, many centuries and different civilizations. And when I was very young, I moved to Naples (Napoli), where Vesuvio, the famous volcano is. And there I actually spent most of my life. I studied there, I have many friends there, my parents and my sisters still live there, and that’s where I met my husband. My husband is American – half German, half Italian, but we say American – and we met at the NATO base, um, during a children’s festival. I was an elementary school teacher at the time, and I brought my students there, and he was in charge of security on the field, and so that’s how we met. And it was love at first sight. And my life has really changed a lot since I moved to the States. Um, when I left Italy, I was a high school English and German teacher, and I started working at a high school in Colorado Springs, [unclear, name of school] High School, where I taught German and speech and other subjects. Then after five years, we moved to Kansas City, where I taught, uh, English to, as a second language, to foreign children, foreign students, and then I moved to Kansas, Lawrence, where I live now, and I teach Italian, my beautiful language, uh, at KU. And I’m very happy, and I know I’m really, really lucky in being able to teach here.

[Speaker begins speaking in Italian]:

Sono molto contenta di lavorare a KU e sono anche molto contenta adesso di vivere a Lawrence. Mi fa piacere che io possa camminare e non prendere la macchina per andare a fare la spesa. E ho qui adesso ho molti amici, uh, quindi ho anche una vita sociale molto interessante, e a Lawrence ci sono molte cose da fare, da vedere. Uh, molti artisti lavorano a Lawrence.

[Speaker begins alternating between Italian and English]:

Uh, ho uno gatto. I have a cat; his name is Orecchiette, which is the name of kind of pasta, but also means, you know, little ears, because he has very little ears [chuckles]; e lui è il boss della casa [and he is the boss of the house].

[Translation of Italian speech: I’m very happy to work at KU, and I’m also very happy to live in Lawrence now. It makes me happy that I can walk and not take my car to go grocery shopping. And now I have many friends here, and therefore a very interesting social life, and in Lawrence there are many things to do and to see. Many artists work in Lawrence.]

TRANSCRIBED BY: Jordyn Cox (under supervision of Paul Meier)

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION: 24/11/2013

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

The speaker displays many of the Signature Sounds present in Paul Meier’s Accents and Dialects for Stage and Screen. Most noticeable is the use of the vowel [i] in the kit lexical set. Her vowels on the foot and goat sets also stayed true to Meier’s book, being the lip-rounded vowels [u] and [o], respectively.

Also of note is the insertion of the subtle, short schwa [ə̆], which concludes words that end in consonants. As most Italian words end in vowels, many Italian speakers will insert this at the end of a word, despite the lack of an orthographic vowel. In my own study of Italian, I have also heard this on English loanwords like “il computer,” which simply means “computer.”

I also noticed the speaker’s insertion of the semivowel [j] in the word “Duke.” This was, however, rather subtle, and I don’t recall hearing it again.

Her use of [h] varied. In spoken Italian, the “h” is silent. For this speaker, sometimes there was overcompensation, or a lack of an [h] altogether.

The subject has a good command on the aspiration of the plosive consonants [p], [t], and [k,] and of the English approximant [ɹ].

COMMENTARY BY: Jordyn Cox (under supervision of Paul Meier)

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 24/11/2013

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).

For instructional materials or coaching in the accents and dialects represented here, please go to Other Dialect Services.