North Carolina 12

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 42

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1958

PLACE OF BIRTH: Burnsville, Yancey County, North Carolina

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Caucasian

OCCUPATION: teacher’s assistant

EDUCATION: N/A

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

Subject was born in Yancey County, where she was still residing at the time of this interview. She has lived for just one year outside the place of her birth, in Boone, North Carolina, in the northwest part of the state. (That town was named for the famous trapper and non-homebody, Daniel Boone.)

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

She lives with her husband and children in a double-wide trailer on a hillside. She sings both in her church and in their community theater.

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

RECORDED BY: Pat Toole

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 08/2000

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

Well, I got a joke for you. There was this little boy, and he decided that he wanted a bicycle for his birthday. So he goes in and he tells his mama, he says, “Mama, I want a bicycle for my birthday.” And mama said, “Well, son, I’m sorry. But I’m not sure that you’ve been quite good enough for a bicycle for your birthday this year.” And she said, “I think you oughtta go up to your room and talk to God about it.” So, the little boy went up to his room, and he thought about it for a while, and, uh, he decided he’d write God a letter. So he gets out his pencil and paper and writes God a letter. He says, “Dear God, I’ve been a very good boy this year and I think I deserve a bicycle for my birthday.” Well, he knew that wasn’t quite right, so he threw that in the trash (wadded it up and threw it in the trash), and got another piece of paper. And he wrote a letter and said, “Dear God, I’ve been a pretty good boy this year and I think I deserve a bicycle for my birthday.” Well, he knew that wasn’t quite right either, so he wadded it up, threw it in the trash, and got another piece of paper and started writing again. He said, “Dear God, I think I’ve been a good boy this year and I think I deserve a bike for my birthday.” Well, that wasn’t gonna do it either, so he wadded it up, threw it in the trash and got out one more piece of paper and wrote a letter and said, “Dear God, I have not been a good boy this year. I do not deserve a bicycle for my birthday. In fact, I probably don’t deserve anything for my birthday this year.” And of course that would never do, so he tore that up and thought for another minute, and an idea came to him, so he went running down the stairs and he, um, went up to his mama and says. “I’ll be back in a minute, mama, I’m goin’ to the church.” And she says, “Well, be careful crossing the road.” So he went running down to the church and went flying in and went to the front of the church, and he stood there and he saw this little bitty statue of the Virgin Mary. So he looked up at her, and he grabbed that statue, and he shoved her in his coat and he went running back in the house and went running back to his room and got the little statue out and put it on his desk and looked at it for a minute and said, “Dear God, I’ve got your mama. If you wanna see her again, get me a bike for my birthday!”

TRANSCRIBED BY: Lisa Donnelly

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 04/2001

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

The subject’s speech generally is formed toward the back of the mouth. Not only are “r’s” and “l’s” strongly retracted, but so are most vowels. Consonants are often dropped. For instance, “sentimental” becomes “senimenal”; “little” becomes “li’l”; “wanted drops the “t”; and “got your” becomes “gotcher.” The “ing” at the end of words like “suffering,” “calling” and “working” is consistently contracted to “sufferin’,” callin’,”, etc. Note that the diphthong in “white,” “time,” and “I” becomes the neutral vowel. The words “stressed,” “mess,” and “vet” become two syllables, as the schwa is added to the vowel. Note that the words “square,” “there,” “rare,” “Jill,” and “name” also become two-syllable words. “Can’t” has a diphthong (“cain’t”). On the other hand, “sure” and “cure” are single-syllable words.  Note the replacement of the vowel in “pencil,” “then,” “get,” and “expensive,” with the higher front vowel. The pure vowel in “fleece” and disease” is preceded by a schwa. Lastly, “yellow” ends with a schwa.

COMMENTARY BY: Pat Toole

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 08/2000

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