Michigan 17

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 18

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 25/05/1999

PLACE OF BIRTH: Commerce Charter Township, Michigan (near Detroit)

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: Caucasian

OCCUPATION: student and actor

EDUCATION: university freshman

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

The speaker lived for two months at school in East Lansing, Michigan, but nowhere else besides Commerce Charter Township.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

The speaker received a septoplasty as a child. There doesn’t appear to be any audible sign of it, although the speaker is somewhat less nasal than is typical of the area.

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): 03/10/2017

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

Um, even though I grew up in Commerce Township, I lived right on the border of, like, Commerce Township and Milford, so it’s kind of in the middle between two smaller, suburban-city areas and a lot of farmland. And, it’s a weird dynamic, ‘cause we have a very high, uh, wage gap. So …

I’m not a great example for that. Usually I found my social activity through doing other activities, like, being involved in a sport or being involved in theatre. I didn’t actually, like, seek it out. I had enough time doing it with other things that I didn’t necessarily just go out of my way.

Ah, when I was younger, I was involved in basketball, uh, soccer, and then cross country and track and field through middle school, and then track and field through high school, and soccer for one year.

Um, I remember vividly my freshman year, when I first started doing theatre and all that stuff happened. So, once we get into our tech week and the week of show, track season starts. And because we have a school in my school’s basement, we’d start an hour later, because they got out at 2:30 and we got out at two o’clock. So, I’d get out of school at two o’clock, sprint up to the track, do a two- or three-hour workout in an hour, go straight to, like, a six-hour rehearsal, and then I’d go home and do homework. And I just vividly remember how fast that time went by.

Yes, I have an older brother and an older sister. We’re all alike; we take a lot of things from our parents, but we’re all very different people. My sister right now is applying to medical school; I believe she just got into Yale and Dartmouth. My brother is actually graduating this semester, in his, technically sixth year of college: electrical engineering. And then I’m here acting, so it’s very, very different.

My family has had two dogs, one named Timmy who died when I was about 6 or 7. Ah, my dog Dreama, who is still alive. My brother I both had betta fish at one point. It didn’t last very long. And my sister had a guinea pig that actually almost broke the age record; it lived for seven years, and then it became too fat to move.

It’s hard to understand with the name; we didn’t actually name her. She has a habit of running away; she just really likes to run, and it’s gotten less over time, but there have been a couple times, one in particular, we have like a cable tie-out, like we use like a bike lock of sorts. So, like, that strength material, she actually broke it ‘cause it was cold enough in the winter and chased after a deer for about two miles, and we got a call from someone on the other end of the neighborhood who had seen our dog. Yeah, and actually you can always find where she’s going in the snow; she really likes the snow. We’ll take her out, just like to go to the bathroom and for walks or whatever, and she’ll walk right up to it and just, face down in the snow, just stick her head in.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Jason Dernay (under supervision of Deric McNish)

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 10/10/2017

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

Commerce Charter Township is an affluent suburb about 40 minutes by car from Detroit. The speaker doesn’t exhibit a heavy regional accent but still has some distinct characteristics of the area. There is a light use of Canadian Rising in words like “workout,” “about,” and “out.” Some elements of the Northern Cities Vowel Shift are apparent, such as the “cot/caught” merger in phrases such as “involved in basketball.” The speaker also uses a northern pronunciation of “futile,” rhyming with “aisle.” The speaker’s “ah” vowel is a bit lateral in words like “soccer,” but it’s not nearly as distinct or nasal as many Michiganders. The “R” in words like “deer” is fairly heavy. The speaker exhibits a lot of vocal fry, which is not uncommon for someone of his age. Plosives in certain positions, such as “st” in “first,” “sister,” “semester,” and “administered,” a well as the “g” in “pig,” are loose and relaxed, lacking crispness, so the “t” sound disappears and the “g” sounds more like a “k.” The speaker inconsistently uses glottal stops at the end of words such as “goat.”

COMMENTARY BY: Deric McNish

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 21/10/2017

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).

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