Arkansas 12

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 28

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 30/09/1990

PLACE OF BIRTH: Berryville, Arkansas

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Caucasian

OCCUPATION: recruiter and advisor at a university

EDUCATION: ABD/Ph.D in history

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

The subject has never lived outside Arkansas.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

The subject is from northwest Arkansas. She was born in Berryville and also lived in Fayetteville for three years and Springdale for six. Her mother is from the Arkansas Delta, in the northeastern part of the state.

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): 20/09/2019

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

So, I was 19 and studying abroad in Rome, and I went to the opera by myself, and I had bought my ticket pretty last minute. So, it was just really horribly expensive. And I sat in a box, and all the other members, er, all the other people sitting in the box were all from California. So, they introduced themselves to me. They were very friendly, but they commented specifically on my accent, or what they perceived as me not having an accent. Um, and just they thought that that was funny and surprising. Ah, I think maybe they may have been more surprised to find an Arkansan at the opera. But maybe that’s just me.

So, growing up, I would say the vast majority of my family was from northwest Arkansas, except for my mother who was from northeast Arkansas. And when I was very young, she had a very thick Delta accent. There are home videos of us saying our ABC’s, saying like, “Aye, Baye, Caye, Daye.” Just really thick. But I think she lost that the longer she lived in northwest Arkansas. And, um, I don’t feel like I have, uh, a really thick Southern accent like other parts of Arkansas does. And I think a lot of that is just, um, m,y my family doesn’t, and, of course, coming to college and traveling a great deal, maybe I lost some of it that I did have. Don’t know. It’d be interested to compare from when I was younger.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Ben Corbett

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 20/09/2019

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

The subject’s Arkansas dialect is light, though some traits become noticeable when she talks about her childhood. She demonstrates vocal creak throughout the interview. The vocal creak almost disappears when she speaks of her mother and of home. Vocal creak is strongest when she discusses not having an accent. Subject’s /r/ sound is strong, occasionally snuffing out its previous vowel (Perry, her, cure).  The /u/ vowel (goose) is given extra emphasis (duke). The shift from /E/ (dress) to /I/ (kit) is present (expensive, went, accent, gently, sentimental).   /I/ (kit) shifts to /E/ (dress) in the word “lunatic.”  The ending vowel /ɑ/ (palm), such as in the word “Arkansas,” approaches the /ɔ/ (cloth) vowel when the subject speaks of her mother. Some words are pronounced quite unlike the accent of the region. For instance, the first vowel in the word “ether” is /E/ (dress), and the vowel in “last” approaches /ɑ/ (palm).

COMMENTARY BY: Ben Corbett

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 20/09/2019

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.