North Carolina 16

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 81

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1919

PLACE OF BIRTH: Rocky Mountain, Edgecomb County, North Carolina

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: Caucasian

OCCUPATION: retired professional engineer and symphony musician

EDUCATION: college

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

When subject was a baby, he was placed with his grandparents in Mt. Airy in the west, where he lived until age 7. At that time he rejoined his now remarried father in Edgecomb and Nash counties (eastern N.C.), and entered school. Here he remained until leaving for military service and college, in Dolthan, Alabama. He has lived in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, since.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

Despite his long sojourn outside eastern North Carolina, mostly in the urban area of Winston-Salem, subject has retained his distinctive eastern North Carolina dialect.

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): 11/2000

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

When I was in the Air Force, uh, I was an instructor for cadets.  And, uh, between classes, we were allowed to take trips in our plane.  And so, one, uh, time I decided to come to this area.  And, uh, I had always, in my, uh, early life at Mount Airy looked out of my bedroom window and see on the horizon Pilot Mountain.  And, uh, Pilot Mountain is one with a knob and then, uh, a dip that goes over into a pinnacle.  And between it there’s a little valley on the top of the mountain.  And since I was klying, flying my plane, I decided that I would fly through that notch between the knob and the pinnacle.  So I put my plane in a dive and picked up speed and came down just over the trees in the valley between the pinnacle and the knob.  And, um, then, I flew on to Greensboro and landed at that airport.  From there, I went up to Mount Airy to visit, uh, grandparents, and they had a dinner served for me and invited all my uncles and aunts that were in Mount Airy at the time, and, while at dinner, I had two uncles that were, uh, always kidded me and uh … But, anyhow, uh, during the meal, one of ‘em said to th’ other, “You know, I was over there, uh, next to Pilot Mountain, uh, this morning, and, uh, a plane came flying through the notch, and it just made so much noise that it scared the pheasants in a pheasant ranch that was on the mountain and pheasants flew out of their coops and landed, went all over the mountain and the owner of the, of the uh, pheasant ranch is mad as hell.  And, uh, he is looking to find out who that was that flew through there.” And, uh, and my other uncle said, “Is that so?  That’s really very serious.”  And, uh, as time went on, they looked over at me, and I was probably turning green and he said, “Billy?  Was that you?”  And I said, “Yes, it was,” and I said, “Did they get the number of the plane?” And they said, “Well, we don’t know but, uh, the major over at the airport is, uh, lookin’ for it.” And I said, “Oh my gosh.” And, uh, but when I went over to Greensboro there was nothing happening over there and I realized that my uncles had just played this trick on me and it so happened that the, that the one who saw me was actually there, and he saw me go through the, the notch, and so, uh, anyhow …

TRANSCRIBED BY: Jessica Tidd and Sandra Lindberg

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 24/04/2008

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

The most distinctive features of his eastern North Carolina dialect are the elimination of the “r” except at the beginning of words or when used to link two vowels or vowel sounds. Another distinctive feature is the lip-rounded vowel heard in words like “cloth,” “strong,” “thought,” “because” and force.” The subject drops the second element of the diphthong in “time,” implied” and “I’m,” although the same sound in “white” is a diphthong. Note that “there” and “rare” become two syllables, as does “years” and “hell.” A word like “mess” is elongated through the addition of a schwa and inflection, as are “came” and “name,” and “square.” “You” and “to” use a diphthong with a short front vowel in the primary position. Words ending in “y,” like “sorry” and “gently,” end in the same short vowel. Note the retracted sound to the vowel in “club,” and the pronunciations of “coops” and “aunt.”

COMMENTARY BY: Pat Toole

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 11/2000

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