Arkansas 21

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 37

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 10/05/1982

PLACE OF BIRTH: Springdale, Arkansas

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: Caucasian

OCCUPATION: property-maintenance manager and bar owner

EDUCATION: bachelor’s degree in creative writing

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

The subject has lived his entire life in Arkansas except for six months in Boone, North Carolina; six months in Nottingham, England; and four years in Edinburgh, Scotland.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

The subject cites education and reading material as influences, with his favorite authors being those who wrote between World War I and World War II. He also says he listens to the BBC a lot.

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): 08/11/2019

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, one of my, uh, professors at the U of A [University of Arkansas] — my, uh, creative writing and poetry professor — once said that, that story writing, creative writing in general, is like French cooking: You have your meat, you do something to it, then you do something else to it, and then you make a sauce. And, and I don’t know how much I carried that away for creative writing. But I do remember that every time I cook ‘cause I try to cook everything in one pan. So I have a big cast-iron skillet that I like to use, and I’ll take the meat and I’ll cook, and then I’ll do something else and do something else. Usually I make a gravy because people always say, “Hey, how do you clean your cast-iron skillet afterwards?” And my answer is, “I don’t. I make gravy in it.” And that cleans everything out of it.

So, for instance, um, my wife, who’s, uh, gluten and dairy intolerant, ah, hadn’t been able to eat gravy in years. And one night I was making brats for dinner. I, I had intended to make bratwurst for dinner, um, but in my experience, you always soak them in beer and grill them. And my wife can’t have beer, and we don’t own a grill. So I got to lookin’ through my liquor cabinet, and I found, ah, ah, like some cans of cider from — I think it was Angry Orchard or something. And, and, so I put all the brats in the skillet and just poured a can of cider over it and simmered it down until it was, it was so thick that it was almost, almost like a jam. And I added some olive oil, got it good and hot again, uh, set the brats to one side, and I got some gluten-free flour and sprinkled it in — basically made a roux. Uh, and then cooled it off a bit and added, uh — I think we were using almond milk at that time. I use goat’s milk now. We gotta, uh, little girl who runs a dairy that we know who gets us raw, unpasteurized goat’s milk, which is great for cooking with. But at the time, I had almond milk. Um, and so I, I made this, this large pan of gravy. And that’s kinda become my thing, particularly with my wife’s family. Like, whenever we eat dinner, particularly Thanksgiving, Christmas, whatever, it’s just assumed that once the meat is done, they’ll all get out of the way so that I can make gravy. I keep thinking that as much as I hate cooking blogs — like, for instance, I’m a bartender, and frequently someone will ask me for a drink that I don’t know how to make. So I’ll Google it really fast, and inevitably someone will have nine minutes of story of why they love this drink and no freaking ingredients listed. And you have to look all the way through it. So, I’d hate to do a cooking blog for that reason. But on the other hand, I’d really enjoy relaying how I, you know, what things I have thrown in the pan, and I keep thinking I’d call it Gras de Jour — you know the Fat of the Day — um, because it’s cooking, so you’re supposed to use French terms. And, and that is, that is one of my favorite things is being able to effectively recycle in the kitchen. Whatever gets cooked gets used one way or another; you know, my uncle made brisket a while back, and I just took home a pan of drippings to make a stew with. And we, uh, our freezer’s dying currently. So, so as things thaw, like the, the, the items that have the most amount of liquid in them are still frozen. But, say, blueberries thawed out earlier in the week, so I made blueberry cobbler. But I had to make it fast, and I didn’t have any just normal flour or anything. And so I used a cornbread mix. And it was too dry and crumbly, so I baked it a second time; I just covered it in eggs and milk and made a big big plate of French toast. So that’s, that’s how I like to cook is: “Quick, do something with this, and then do something else with it.”

TRANSCRIBED BY: Ben Corbett

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 12/11/2019

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

Subject maintains a guttural quality, resulting in vocal creak throughout the interview. His /r/ is strong and often overtakes the previous vowel (mirror). The vowel /u/ (goose) sometimes receives extra emphasis or can have a small schwa /ə/ (comma) preceding it (goose, duke, usually). Ending plosive consonants /t/ and /d/ are sometimes dropped when they are in consonant clusters (old, first). /ʃ/ (sh) replaces /s/ in /st/ beginning consonant clusters (street, strong). The second vowel in the diphthong /aɪ/ [price] sometimes drops completely (implied, I, I’d). Vowel /e/ [dress] can become /I/ [kit], though not consistently (then, gets, intended). Ending /t/ and /k/ are slightly aspirated (meat, it, don’t). /æ/ (trap) is often lengthened in a short word ending in /m/ or /n/ (jam, pan, cans). The first vowel in the diphthong /aɪ/ [price] becomes /ɑ/ (palm) (wife, night, cider). /hw/ (whip) often begins words that begin with “wh” (what). Short /ɒ/ [cloth] becomes the diphthong /ɔ/ [thought] in the word “dog.” The tongue is held slightly lower than what is intrinsic for /eɪ/ [face], approaching /aɪ/ [price] (plain, Thanksgiving). Notice the example of Arkansas dialect in the phrase “got to lookin’.”

Additional commentary by Paul Meier: In addition to Professor Corbett’s fine commentary, I would add that, in this speaker, with the PRICE lexical set, in addition to the “monophthongization” of set words in which the vowel precedes a voiced consonant, producing, e.g., private [pɹaːvət] (a feature almost universal in the American South), we also hear it in set words in which the vowel precedes a voiceless consonant, e.g., wiped [waːpt] (which is by no means universally found in the American South).

COMMENTARY BY: Ben Corbett

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 12/11/2019

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