Jamaica 3

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 22

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 12/02/1990

PLACE OF BIRTH: Montego Bay, Jamaica

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: Jamaican

OCCUPATION: student

EDUCATION: master’s degree

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

Subject had been living in the United States for six years at the time of this recording, the first four years in Massachusetts and the last two in Lawrence, Kansas.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH: N/A

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

RECORDED BY: Paul Meier

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 29/05/2012

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

I was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica; um, I grew up there – spent sixteen years there; um, I finished high school and, um, in 2006 I moved to Massachusetts to go to college.  Um, I spent four years there; um, it was difficult ’cause, of course, I was I was 16 years old when I went to college, so, um, it was kind of a rough four years, but by the end I got the hang of it. And, uh, the professor I was studying piano with there, um, knew Dr. Tucker here, who’s the choir director, and so when I knew I wanted to look into, um, choral conducting as a possible career option, I decided to apply here. Um, and so that’s how I ended up being in Lawrence, and I just finished, um, this May, I just finished my master’s in conducting and piano.  Usually, um, Jamaicans who have access to higher quality of education, um, who learn, you know, how to read properly and how to express themselves properly usually sound like I do.  Um, we are speaking standard English, but the Jamaican accent is there.  Then we are all exposed to the dialect because, of course, you know, it’s, there’s no way to escape it; it’s in pop culture; I mean, it’s part of our culture.  But there are, there are, some people who cannot, cannot, um, express themselves outside of the dialect; um, and so a lot of times that’s what, that’s what people expect to hear from me, because that’s the more famous, the more stereotypical Jamaican sound.  I’m just trying to think of something to say.  Like I, I don’t, I don’t want to go there me no wanna go there.  You know, this kind of, um, way of expressing yourself.  And  then, within the dialect there are slight variations according to where you’re from, so it’s interesting I was watching, um, a video on YouTube recently, and, um, it was a guy who was dubbing over, uh, an infomercial, but he was using the dialect, and I said to my friend who I watching it with: I can tell he’s from Kingston because of there’s kind of a melding of the standard English with the broken English, so it’s not … it’s not fully one or the other and I can kind of hear his accent coming out.  I know a lot of people from St. Elizabeth – one of the parishes – it’s like southwest Jamaica, and they have a much slower drawl to the way they speak patois.  There’s a saying that we have.  It goes: Wheh-eva it mahgah it a go pop off. [Subject provided the transcription.] Basically, wherever, it’s kind of the talking about a branch wherever it gets to its thinnest point it’s going to break.  It’s like a proverb that we have, that, you know, I mean, you can only give so much, you know, you can’t give any more, um, before you end up giving too much. Wheh-eva it mahgah it a go pop off. There’s another one – another proverb – that goes: Howdy an’ tenky nuh bruk nuh tile. It’s the drawly like [unclear] hello and thank-you doesn’t break any tiles.  Basically, it’s no skin off your … it’s no effort to say hello and thank you to people; it shouldn’t be, you know, uh, such an effort to do that, um, howdy an’ tenky nuh bruk nuh tile.  There’s this saying that we have.  It’s kind of like an addendum to … if you’re talking about, um, somebody giving you a really b.s. excuse for something it’s, uh, horse dead and cow fat. Literally what it sounds like: horse dead and cow fat.  It’s just like: yeah, yeah, so we were, you know, we were doing this, and someone tell me and this and that and that, and horse dead and cow fat; it just comes out; it just like, you know, it’s ridiculous-sounding; it doesn’t make any sense, and that’s kind of how you feel about what the person is telling you to.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Paul Meier

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 29/05/2012

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

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 accent or dialect, and which are subject to variation from individual to individual.

COMMENTARY BY: Paul Meier

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 03/11/2016

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.