Arkansas 11

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 30

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 24/03/1989

PLACE OF BIRTH: Dumas, Arkansas

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: Caucasian

OCCUPATION: administrative specialist

EDUCATION: some graduate-level study

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

The subject lived in Morgan City, Louisiana, for one year.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

He learned to read at an early age.

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

RECORDED BY: Ben Corbett

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 14/09/2019

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

Something that really irritates me, especially when I travel outside of Arkansas, are people that do not seem to understand the difference between sweet tea and iced tea. Iced tea is tea without sugar in it, and you cannot make it sweet tea. Specifically, I remember a time I went to Chicago and I, I’d had it. This was the absolute breaking point. I asked the person, “Do you have any sweet tea?” She like, “We have unsweet tea and Sweet-n-Low.” I stopped her. I said, “If someone from the South, specifically Arkansas, ever asks you that, that is not sweet tea. You have to add sugar to hot sweet tea in order for it to properly dissolve. Otherwise, you’re gonna have this gritty, gross texture. And so you might as well just say, ‘No, we don’t have sweet tea ‘cause you’re going to answer the person’s question a lot faster. One exception, caveat, is that if you serve sweet tea, uh, unsweet tea with simple syrup, then you can easily make it into sweet tea because it’s a liquid into a liquid. But unsweet tea and Sweet-n-Low will not sweet tea make. So, it really irritates me when people don’t understand what sweet tea is. …

Typical sweet-tea recipe, in Arkansas at least, will depend on the vessel that you’re using. Almost every family that I know has their tea pitcher, which generally is about a gallon, uh, in the amount. Could be less; could be more. Um, it greatly varies. Some people like whuh, what my mom refers to as “stump water,” which is where you put a lot of sugar, as much as two cups to a gallon, um, n-not a gallon of sugar, but two cups of sugar to a gallon of tea, which will make it incredibly sweet, borderline saccharine, way too sweet for me. Um, when I was still living at home, I made it with a cup of sugar. Um, but living on my own now, I don’t hardly ever have sweet tea, uh, just ‘cause I don’t keep white sugar in my house ’cause I, I don’t need the added sugar in my diet. But if I were to make it, I would brew, um — if you’re using individual bags — ‘bout four to five of black tea. Um, not, Early Grey; you don’t wanna Breakfast Blend. You just wanna like Orange Peko. It’s — you’ll see it in the tea aisle at Walmart or Harp’s or wherever. Um, you boil it, uh, let it cool down, add it to the pitcher, add your sugar, give it a good stir. You can add ice to, uh, to hasten it. Put just put the, put the pitcher in the fridge, and it’ll cool down. And when it’s cool, have a glass.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Ben Corbett

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 17/09/2019

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

The participant’s delivery is quite rapid, favoring the nasal and sinus resonators. Tension in throat leads to vocal fry, the location of said tension from back of the tongue. /r/ is strong and slightly nasal (nurse, territory, superb, square, Harp’s). The /u/ sound (goose) receives extra stress (duke, huge, goose). /t/ is clear and aspirated at the beginning of words, particularly in the word “tea.” The familiar Southern shift of /e/ (dress)  to /I/ (kit) occurs (then). The “aɪ” diphthong (price) occasionally loses its second vowel (I, might, required). The word “yellow” substitutes a schwa /ə/ (comma) for the ending /ou/ (goat).  /h/ is dropped once at the beginning of the word “her.”  /ɔ / (thought) appears in the word “palm” and “almost.”  Once, in the word “woman,” /ʊ/ (foot) changes to /oʊ/ (goat).  Notice the example of Arkansas dialect/slang “stump water.”

The subject identities as gay and believes that, upon coming out, he took on recognizable archetypal vocal patterns so that others could identify his sexuality while listening to him speak. Some of those patterns include up-glide at the end of some sentences, down-gliding during some diphthongs, and an occasional sibilance.

COMMENTARY BY: Ben Corbett

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 19/09/2019

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.

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