Nova Scotia 4

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 23

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1977

PLACE OF BIRTH: Glace Bay, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Caucasian

OCCUPATION: massage therapist

EDUCATION: one year of college

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

Subject had been living in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for two months at the time of this recording.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH: N/A

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

RECORDED BY: Susan Stackhouse

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 03/06/2000

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

Glace Bay is like a small town where everybody knows everybody, and if you walk down the street you’re sure to know, and if you don’t know someone, you know someone who knows them. Well there was the coal mine, but with Devco phasing them out, there’s not too much; pretty much everybody seems to be moving away. At one point back in the 1900s, when the coal mines were booming, uh, Glace Bay was the largest town in Canada, and um, the busiest, and that’s where every … all the industry was taking place. I was listening to the radio, and it kind of made me cry because there was, uh, with the coal miners being laid off some of their wives don’t work, and there’s one woman on the radio saying that she didn’t have food to feed her baby, and she was calling up, wanting someone to help them out and they were talking about putting up a call center in Sydney, so that may provide some jobs, but they’re only low-paying jobs; some of these coal miners made really good money; they’d get bonuses for going underground plus all the overtime. When we were in grade 11, our English teacher, one of the first couple of days of class, he put the sentence “Did you eat yet?” up on the board, and the first few people were reading it off the board, and when you read something you read the words you see, but as it went around, people were remembering it so it went “Geet yet.” Everybody starting going “geet yet,” “geet yet.” [laughs] There’s no “g” at the end of this “what’s goin on,” what’s goin, goin, it’s not whatcha doin, there’s not “g” at the end of … bye, that’s another popular, “what’s goin on, bye”; that’s what they, you from the bay bye, or you’re from the pier dear. [laughs] My grandmother was talking last night; she said that nobody called a kettle a kettle; it was always the kittle because they grew up to her grandparents, and that’s what they all called it, so for years she never ever knew the work kettle; it was always a kittle. [laughs] Cape Bretoners love to party. Yeah, um, basically there’s a bunch of people who get around and round the kitchen and play music or if, if you go to someone in Cape Breton’s house, more than likely you’re going to be sitting around the kitchen drinking tea and having sweets. Or even if it’s a party it’s all going to end up in the kitchen, everything, that’s where everything ends up, you sit around, play cards, and everything, and the living room will just sit there with nobody in it.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Faith Harvey

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 07/07/2008

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

Subject is a wife and mother of two young children. Of interest is the use of the closed [a] in the words “largest,” “Canada,” “class,” “have,” and “grandparents”; and slightly more open [a] in words and phrases such as “small town,” “calling,” “call centre,” “all,” and “walk.” There is an especially strong example of Canadian Raising (mid-central starting point when the following consonant is voiceless) with the words “out,” “about,” “house,” “around,” “underground,” “town,” and “now.” There is also a strong example of Canadian Raising with the phrase “white light” and “coal mines/miners,” “kinda made me cry,” and “like.” Note the change of the vowel [o] to [ah] in words and phrases such as “laid off,” “jobs,” “up on the board,” “off the board,” “coal mines/miners,” “not,” “gods,” and “pot.” More often than not, the “g” is dropped from “-ing” endings. The following phrases contain particularly strong examples of the Glace Bay dialect: “talkin’ last night,” “wantin’ someone to help them out,” “phasin’ them out,” “movin’ away,” “sittin’ around the kitchen drinkin tea ‘n havin’ sweets,” “what’s goin on,” and “whatcha doin.” Often [th] in a final position will become [t], as in “the living room will just sit there wit nobody in it.” The word “and” is regularly contracted to “n.” “You’re” is pronounced “yer.” Popular sayings include the usage of the word “bye” (boy), as in “what’s goin’ on, bye?” and “Yer from the bay, bye?” Note that the speaker also uses “yer from the pier dear.” Of importance and in keeping with the lilting Cape Breton dialect is the chuckling and laughing throughout. Cape Breton Island has a strong music, drama, and entertainment/party culture, including ceilidhs (kitchen parties) and revue/sketch comedy. Cape Breton playwrights include Sheldon Currie, Michael Melski, and Bryden MacDonald.

COMMENTARY BY: Susan Stackhouse and Paul Meier

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 03/06/2000 and 17/07/2000

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.
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