Michigan 15

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 22

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 19/11/1993

PLACE OF BIRTH: Detroit

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: black/African-American

OCCUPATION: student and cafeteria supervisor

EDUCATION: four years of college

AREAS OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:

Subject has spent four years at university in East Lansing, Michigan, and 10 months in Georgia. The rest of his life has been spent in Detroit.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

Subject’s immediate family and guardians are all from inner city Detroit. He moved several times as a child but always in Detroit’s urban east side. Subject is in his fourth year in a BFA acting program, so he has studied speech to a limited extent and can consciously switch to a less regional sound. This recording represents his natural speaking voice.

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

RECORDED BY: Deric McNish

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 19/02/2016

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

Oooh, it would have to be-behind like, freeze tag, or spider and the flies. Or Mr. Fox, Mr. Fox. Uh, it’s like this game where, uh, the fox is like who is the person who’s it. So like they stand, like down at one end. All the other people stand back thinking the fox has his back turned. So you say, Mr. Fox, Mr. Fox, what time is it? And then he’ll give you a time, and depending on the time, you know, you take however many steps you want, however many steps like the time is to get to him. You can take long steps, small steps, whatever you choose. And, uh, when he says, is it midnight, yeah, when he says midnight, you like, have to like, get past him, or else he’ll like, get you and eat you basically.

Um, so I grew up in Detroit at a time before its current gentrification stage, and it was, uh, I wouldn’t say that it’s necessarily a good place to be; um, just be wary of what’s going on around you and, you know, be careful. [Laughs.] Uh, I uh, I remember one time — I’ll give you three different stories. Uh, one time when I was in high school, I was in like my ROTC class, and I guess this guy got held up at gunpoint like right by my classroom on the stairwell for his glasses, ’cause, ’cause like, the guy, I guess he had like, expensive glasses, and like some guy who didn’t even go to our school had, like, broken into school and was like, robbed him at our school, so that was weird.

Or another time, when I was on the bus going home, uh, this guy, like I didn’t know at the time, but I found out afterwards, uh, when I got home ’cause it was on the news; like this guy was on the bus had like an AK-47 in his pants. Like, he had like, big pajama pants on, I guess, and like, we saw he was like making a lot of noise, but like he got off the bus, and he like, went, he like shot up some people, and like I saw it on the news afterwards.

Or, um, in my high school the, like, sheriffs, the Wayne County Sheriff used to always be there, like parked there, because gangs and stuff used to always be around. Like, this one time, this girl got shot in her leg while, uh, we were like, leaving school ’cause every time we leave school like they were always ready, and they used to like pepper spray and tear gas us. I mean, it was kinda just life [laughs] there so like it was kinda normal, I guess.

[Laughs.] Uh, first grade, [laughs], she was um, man, I dunno. I don’t even know why I had a crush on her, I don’t — I don’t know, it was, I — I think it was just because she was like, smart like I was, you know, and like, not everyone was at the same level [chuckles] in school.

Yes. Uh, I mean — I don’t know — I’ve been blamed for stuff I didn’t do a lot. It’s like, uh, OK, so one time, I was living with my guardian who was my cousin at the time, and his baby momma’s — baby ma — [laughs] his baby momma’s son broke his umbrella. And I told him that his baby momma’s son broke his umbrella, and he blamed me for it; he got mad at me and, like, was pissed, and beat me up. That happened. No, no. Nah, I left. I mean I went to a cousin, and then like, ended up leaving there too, and, I went to another cousin, and that situation wasn’t too good. And then I graduated from high school, and then I just don’t really go back there.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Ryan Duda

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 24/02/2016

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

The brisk pace of the subject’s speech is fairly typical of city speakers from Detroit.

COMMENTARY BY: Deric McNish

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 26/02/2016

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