Mississippi 4

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 42

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1965

PLACE OF BIRTH: Chile but moved immediately to Jackson, Mississippi

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: Caucasian

OCCUPATION: history professor

EDUCATION: doctoral degree

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

He was born in Chillán, Chile, but moved within weeks of his birth to Jackson, Mississippi.  He has lived in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, as well as in Texas for two years (in Crocket, Shiner and Houston).  He also lived for a year in Montana. He attended graduate school in Champaign, Illinois, while in his 30s.  He was living in Buena Park, California, at the time of this interview.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

His parents were from Mississippi, despite his place of birth. Even though he is well traveled and has lived outside the state, about 30 years of his life have been spent in Mississippi.

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

RECORDED BY: Christopher Geer (under supervision of David Nevell)

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 08/11/2007

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’m 42, and I was born in Chillán, Chile.  Uh, my parents were American; we were, uh, they were from Mississippi, and we came back to Mississippi immediately after I was born.  And, uh, grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, and lived there, uh, for most of my life, and I lived in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, also.  It was fantastic, uh … growing up in Mississippi was incredible.  The, the, uh, it was very idealistic, uh, for me.  In terms of we hunted a lot, and fished, and uh, we were in the outdoors a lot, so it was great.  Uh, I remember like when I was a lil’ younger, I, I caught um, a, uh, a venomous snake, a, a water moccasin, and I was scared to let go of it.  So my neighbor got a garbage can and took the lid off, and she said, “OK, now you throw it in there,” and I opened the eh, uh [snicker], so I did that [snicker].  And uh, it snowed when I was about 5 and I decided I was gonna r- which was very rare, so I decided I was gonna run naked through the neighborhood too, so that was a good, time [laughs].  For the most part it was, y’know, for the first thirty years of my life Mississippi was the main, place.  Uh, I do remembe- my, uh, my grandmother, um, who was named er, Irlene [spelling?] Puckett  … uh, had a lot of dialect words that are lost now.  And she was from Scottish stock, and bor- she was born in 1911.  So, she would have heard a lot of words, from older people when she was a little girl that were in use in the- probably in the earlier part of the, um, of the mid-early to mid-nineteenth century.  So, for ghost she would say, haint.  Uh, and she used a h- a holler, a hollow, uh, like a, y’know, a little, not a valley but like a, not a ditch and not a valley but in between.  So a hollow was a holler, and a ghost was a haint.  And to give up the ghost was to die.  So, you were giving the ghost up, you, were would mean the ghost was leaving your body.  So that was to give up the ghost.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Christopher Geer (under supervision of David Nevell)

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 08/11/2007

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

His dialect is characterized by a strong Southern drawl. He uses pitch variation of vowels for emphasis, many interjected schwas (especially to create tripthongs), also glottals for emphasis in the medial position, and no pure vowels. For instance, most pure vowels become dipthongs, or even tripthongs. For Example: “Can’t” would read “cai-ent,” with the final position /t/ being aspirated, though the word flows much more smoothly than a harsher Texan-style dialect. The flow of the dialect is very smooth but with a lingering croaking “fry” throughout. Also, any /t/’s or /d/’s that are not aspirated are flaps.

COMMENTARY BY: Christopher Geer (under supervision of David Nevell)

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 08/11/2007

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