Michigan 4

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: N/A

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1948

PLACE OF BIRTH: Royal Oak, Michigan (suburb of Detroit)

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Caucasian

OCCUPATION: illustrator

EDUCATION: N/A

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

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): N/A

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 have a dog named Sammy, and he is a very rare dog.  He’s a hairless Chinese Crested dog.  And he has a little bit of hair on his head and his tails and his paws.  I have written a storybook, a picture book, about Sammy for preschoolers.  And I’ve done all the illustrations.  And what the story is about is: Sammy is very possessive of his blanket because he has no hair and he has to stay warm somehow.  So the story goes that he loses the blanket, and he tries on various clothes like a snow jacket and a rain coat and superman PJs, and tries to see if something could take the place of his blanket.  But he doesn’t find anything that can keep him warm and cuddly and safe like his blanket.  So he’s — goes to his bed and he’s really upset and crying.  And then as he’s going to his bed, he sees a piece of his blanket sticking out between his bed and the wall.  So he had found his blanket, and he was really happy.  Uh, my granddaughter, who is 6 years old now.  When — in May, when she was 4 years old, she was diagnosed with leukemia.  And it was one of the, uh, hardest times of my life.  She was in terrible pain and I’ve learned since how bad this disease is for children and how much pain they go through.  And they have to get lots of pokes and treatment afterwards.  And she had a port put in her and she calls that Charlie.  And she can’t wait for Charlie to come out.  Her treatment’s going to go two years and two months.  Sometimes from the chemotherapy she gets very sick and sometimes her counts gets so low that she can’t go to school, she can’t go in restaurants.  So her life is really restricted, and that’s tough for a 6-year-old.  But she does get to school sometimes and, um, she really, really enjoys it and she does well.  And we haven’t had any sign of cancer coming back, so we’re very grateful for that.

TRANSCRIBED BY: John Wright

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 11/08/2008

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

Subject has fairly mild southeastern Michigan dialect. In general, there is a “tight” quality to her vowel and diphthong sounds, which may be the product of jaw tension but is quite common in the Midwest. This is evident in the beginning of the recording in the words, “long” and “round.” Another change one is likely to hear in Michigan is the movement in diphthongs; they become limited, as in the words “goes,” “strikes,” “sometimes” and “P.J.’s.” In fact, the diphthong in “crying” and “my life” frequently becomes abbreviated in Michigan, with the first element becoming inordinately dominant and the second element barely audible. The same adjustment occurs with the diphthong in, “P.J’s.” It is not unusual to hear vowels preceding the consonant “r” to receive less air time, as mildly demonstrated in “air, hair, warm, arch,” and “Charlie.” The Michigan “a” is generally pronounced, with less jaw opening and a back of the mouth placement. Very often they are quite lateral and somewhat nasal. This woman only demonstrates a mild version of this adjustment, as in “Sammy, happy, cancer,” and “that.” Note also that the “y” endings in “Sammy” and “happy” lean toward the long “i” in “Lee.” Finally, Michiganders tend to move the back vowel found in “honest” to a lateral placement. This is somewhat evident in “beyond, dog, pot,” and “tries on.” These changes are repeated to varying degrees in the other Michigan recordings.

COMMENTARY BY: Cynthia Blaise

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

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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