Russia 6

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 62

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 08/05/1946

PLACE OF BIRTH: Chernivets’ka, Odessa, Ukraine

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Russian/Latvian/white

OCCUPATION: medical technologist

EDUCATION: university degree

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

Subject was born in Ukraine. She and her family moved to Riga, Latvia, when she was quite young.  In her late twenties, she emigrated to the United States, first to Cincinatti and later to Kansas City.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

Subject was bi-lingual in Latvian and Russian from an early age, and had a smattering of Yiddish.

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

RECORDED BY: Paul Meier

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 03/2002

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 was born in May 8th, 1946, in Ukraine, city of Chernivets’ka. And, um, when I was a year old my parents moved to Riga, Latvia, where I spent another twenty-eight years, and, um, I went to, I got my bachelor degree in science; it was med, like pre-med. And I came to United States when I was almost, no, I was 29 years old, I came with a five years old son. And, um, I used to live in Cincinnati, Ohio, and then I have met my husband and we got married and I moved to Kansas City, and I had another son. I spoke Latvian; it was a necessity, not by my choice but I think it was OK; it wasn’t really fluent, but it was good for, for my job and, um, I could communicate with people.  Not as good as my Russian was.  And, um, I also understood a little bit of Yiddish, it was necessary because I had to know what my parents were talking about. And, um, I think that’s all languages, and I took English of course when I was in school, um, but it wasn’t very much; it really helped me a lot when I came because at least I know like few hundred words to begin with, you know. I didn’t know how to put them together but …

TRANSCRIBED BY: Karina Lemmer

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 25/04/2008

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

While her English is fluent, there is still a strong accent to be detected, even after more than twenty years of residence in the United States. Note the velarized “L,” the plosive “th” and the devoicing of final voiced consonants. She is married to Russia 7.

If you are a dialect researcher, or an actor using this sample to develop your skill in the accent, please see my instruction manual at www.paulmeier.com. As the speaker in this sample is a unique individual, it is highly unlikely that she will conform to my analysis in every detail. But you will find it interesting and instructive to notice which of my “signature sounds” and “additional features” (always suggested only as commonly heard features of the accent) are widely used by most speakers of the accent, and which are subject to variation from individual to individual.

COMMENTARY BY: Paul Meier

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 03/2002 (amended 13/11/2016)

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