Philippines 3

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 27

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 09/04/1986

PLACE OF BIRTH: Imus, Cavite, Philippines

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: Filipino Mestizo (mixed ancestry)

OCCUPATION: dialect/accent coach

EDUCATION: college

AREAS OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:

Subject has not lived outside Imus for more than six months.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

Subject’s elders are fluent speakers of Spanish and English, as well as local languages (Tagalog and Ilocano). He grew up with an older brother who spoke only English until his teenage years and had limited contact with non-relatives until high school. Subject strongly identifies with his ethnic origins, both indigenous and expatriate.

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

RECORDED BY: Aldrin Fauni-Tanos

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 17/05/2013

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 18/05/2013

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

I was born and raised in a small town in the Philippines, just south of Manila. Well, [laughs] it’s a city now. I, I was raised bilingual, English and Tagalog — well [laughs] well, trilingual, if you include the occasional Spanish and bits of French and German expletives. Um, I, I speak with an accent similar or, or related to British RP or, or Received Pronunciation — which is quite atypical, um, atypical for someone who was born and raised in the Philippines. Although my near-accent — sorry, my near RP accent is my default accent for formal occasions, I can also switch to a more local accent if I wanted to. So, I’ll be putting on a more typical Filipino accent now…

[Shifts to an Americanised Filipino accent:] Um, there is actually no typical Filipino accent because Filipinos speak a lot of languages — like a lot — there are different languages in the Philippines. Um, a native Filipino’s English accent usually reflects, uh, this, this diversity, uh, his region of origin, for example. However, for many educated Filipinos in Manila, the preferred accent is usually a cross between a General American accent and a typical … Filip-Tagalog accent. There is no r-flapping in words and … in, in words like, uh, butter, water, or letter, and the syllables are often evened out. So, they would sound like but-ter, wot-ter, let-ter.

Unlike, uh, the Standard American accent, though, there is … there is usually no yod dropping in a typical Manila English accent. So, people prefer to say, uh, a “choob” [tube] of ice instead of a “toob” of ice, and uh, “Nyoo” [new] York instead of “Noo” York. Now, for some people, especially younger people, um, there’s a tendency to say it like, uh, most Americans do, like, uh, “toob” [tube] and “nooz” [news], but that’s something that is not as widely accepted as the … the liquid u, um, which people feel is too American [i.e. yod-dropping].

[Shifts to a more Tagalog accent:] A more typical rural accent, though, or, or a more Tagalog accent of English is — has more, um [pauses] well, local sounds. For example, I say “egzampol” or “eksampol” and I say “se-ven”, or “se-ben” for some people. Sometimes I can, I can “konpyus” or confuse, you know, the word fat from pat. And sometimes very is berry, so, “tenk yu beri much” or “samting” like “dat” — “samting” instead of something.

[Counts in Tagalog:] Isá, dalawá, tatló, apat, limá, anim, pitó, waló, siyám, sampû. [English translation: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.]

[Reads from Noli Me Tángere, a Filipino novel from 1887:] Kabanata limá: Isáng talà sa gabíng madilím. Unang talatà. “Umuwî na rin si Ibarra sa kanyáng tinutuluyan. Sa isá sa mga silíd sa Fonda de Lala siyá tumutulóy. Itó ay isáng sikát na hotél sa Maynilà nang panahóng iyón. Pag-aarì itó ni Lala Ari, isáng mistisong Índiyong may lahing Inglés.” [English translation: Chapter five: A star in a dark night. First paragraph. “Ibarra had finally gone home to where he was staying. He was staying in one of the rooms at Fonda de Lala. It was a famous hotel in Manila at that time. It was owned by Lala Ari, an indio-mestizo of English ancestry.”]

TRANSCRIBED BY: Aldrin Fauni-Tanos

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 18/05/2013

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 18/05/2013

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

In the full interview, the subject talks extensively about his childhood. Unlike his older brother, who was raised entirely in English, the subject was raised in both English and Tagalog (his mother’s first language and the dominant lingua franca in the Philippines). He recounts memories of his father, a professor, speaking to him in a mix of American and British English dialects, with the understanding that British English was more “proper.” Subject suggests that this cultural bias may have greatly influenced his dialectal inclinations in his formative years. Subject also recounts emulating the speech of actors in older films, both British and American, with a great fascination for Irish and Scottish characters.
In high school, he developed a passion for learning languages, which may have led him to consciously shape his “hybrid” speech into a more “standard” dialect. Rather than developing one accent geared toward a specific form, the subject developed several different accents that he would use in different situations — three of which he demonstrates in the recording. However, he considers British Received Pronunciation as his default reading voice and “formal” accent.
His acquisition of a near-RP accent for everyday use is highly atypical for most native-born Filipinos, but this distinct feature of his speech as well as his skill in switching between accents has led him into becoming a dialect/accent coach. He currently teaches RP and General American, with a healthy interest in other dialects.
Additional features:
  • Subject’s RP seems to have many conservative features when unguarded, particularly his linking [r] and intervocalic [r] flapping (a feature that he inhibits in this recording).
  • His TRAP set words are a little modern (more open than conservative and akin to northern British dialects).
  • His final [t] has a tendency to be a little too splashy (heard in “vet”) or released in consonant clusters (heard in “treatment”).
  • In casual speech, he also has a tendency for an affricated release of [k] in a style similar to his aspirated /t/.
  • When unguarded, his voicing of [s] can sometimes be insufficient.
  • His Americanized Filipino accent is, naturally, rhotic, as are most Philippine languages.
  • He uses a broad [a] in words like “lot,” which other Filipinos would normally substitute with TRAP.
  • His impression of a more typical Tagalog accent includes a trilled [r] (“rural”), elongated or evened-out syllables (“seven”), and consonant substitution (f/p, v/b, th/t/d).

COMMENTARY BY: Aldrin Fauni-Tanos

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 18/05/2013

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).

For instructional materials or coaching in the accents and dialects represented here, please go to Other Dialect Services.