Michigan 1

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 24

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1976

PLACE OF BIRTH: Detroit

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: Caucasian

OCCUPATION: actor

EDUCATION: N/A

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

He has lived in southeast Michigan all his life.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH: N/A

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

RECORDED BY: Cynthia Blaise

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 2000

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 actually in the city of Detroit, and then when I was 6 months old, my parents moved to Dearborn Heights, which is about ten minutes outside of Detroit; it’s a suburb of Detroit, and, uh, I lived there my entire life until three years ago we moved to Dearborn, which is different than Dearborn Heights. It is right next to it and a little closer, actually to the city of Detroit. And that’s where I lived since then, so all my life I’ve been around the city. I’ve never moved for any significant length of time.  I’m ready to go, I’m ready to be somewhere else, I think, for a while, a warmer climate. But, yeah, it’s been good. I don’t love Detroit. I think it wasn’t, it definitely wasn’t a bad place to grow up, but I think that, uh, I would like to spend the rest of my life somewhere closer to nature, whether that’s very near a beach, or you know a forest or something like that; I think I’d love to be somewhere closer to nature. I feel like we are very industrialized around here. I went through public schools; my mother wanted us to go through the same school system from kindergarten till twelfth grade because she moved a lot when she was growing up and she didn’t want my sister and I to have to change schools, and we didn’t. So we stayed in the same school system from kindergarten through twelfth grade, and then I went to community college for two years. And I got an associate’s degree in arts, in fine arts, the real arts. And then I stopped and started working full time. I’m an actor right now. I’m lucky enough to be a full-time actor. And I work at the Second City, which is a comedy theater in downtown Detroit, so I guess I’m back in the city where I started off, and we write and perform comedy theater full time, seven shows a week. I came to the Second City through more, much more of a comedy route than most people take. And, uh, I’ve learned a lot more about acting along the way and I think the flip side of that, a lot of people come through acting: They are theater majors, and maybe they learn a lot more about comedy once they get there, so, really, I think it’s a good plan, a great plan, to have some people who have come from both sides of that and end up in an ensemble together. And I think it is good; it complements each other very well.

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

He does not have an exceedingly heavy Michigan dialect but demonstrates several characteristic sounds. Listen to the weight of the r’s in the words “arch” and “kindergarten.” The “honest” vowel is more lateral in the Midwest, as you’ll hear in the words “beyond,” “pot,” “stopped,” “comedy” and “complements.” The diphthong in the word “pay” is somewhat flatter and placed farther back in the throat, as in “nature” and “take.” The same can be said for the diphthong in “my,” as in his “I.” The front vowel in the first syllable of “acting” is an example of the throaty, flat quality Michiganders apply to this vowel sound. This young man provides a fairly common sample of the dialect spoken in the Detroit area.

COMMENTARY BY: Cynthia Blaise

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 2000

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.