Arkansas 22

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 25

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 09/05/1994

PLACE OF BIRTH: Harrison, Arkansas

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Caucasian

OCCUPATION: intern at a radio station and associate at prepared-meal caterer

EDUCATION: associate’s degree in science and arts

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

The subject lived in Raleigh, North Carolina, for three years. The rest of her life has been spent in northwest Arkansas, except for one year in Blue Ball, in the southwest part of the state.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

She grew up doing farm work with her father and grandfather on the family’s peach orchard.

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): 06/12/2019

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

Yeah, absolutely. So, my poppa Jack and my dad built this like log cabin, which was really nice, and it actually caught on fire, uh, a few years later after they built it. But while we were living there, with my mom and my grandma, my grandpa, my father — and, like, I’m the seventh child; we had one more; I have a baby brother — eh, we would go out on the peach orchard and pick peaches. So we’d have to find the ripest ones. And since I was so young, I was unable to like cut up the peaches to sell and stuff. So I was allotted the job of finding the ripest peach. So I would go out on some five acres and like five hundred different trees and climb up to the very top and find just like the best-smelling peach ever. It’s just such a good memory etched into my brain. And it’d be like a dark purple with like hardly any — you would just pinch it, and it’d be so soft that it was like, oh my goodness, and like soft as in like soft to the pinch but also soft ‘cause it had a little peach fuzz on it, you know? And so I can remember biting into it and like feeling the peach fuzz on your lips and stuff. So that’s still like a good like, em, memory for me.

But I remember I was like washing a straw one time after going out picking peaches. And I was fascinated with just watching the water go through the straw out of the faucet. But I was using the hot water, and like my Papa Jack did not like that. And he like came over and swatted me so hard on the butt. It was like — he was like, “April Dawn!” You know when they use your middle name, you’re like in trouble. And I was like, “You know what?” He was like, “Stop wasting the hot water.” You know it’s like “OK, Papa Jack, I’m sorry.” [Subject laughs.] So, that was a pretty good time working on the peach farm: one of the better memories that I have of my childhood. But, yeah, like I said, I was too young to cut them up and stuff. So, what can you do? But now, I, I, I did watch them, how they cut, you know, uh, even though I was not allowed to, and so to nowadays I’m like just rehearse that memory in my head of watching them cut it while I cut up things now. So, that inversely helps still, you know. So, that’s basically the story of, eh, me growing up on the peach orchard.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Ben Corbett

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 06/12/2019

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 accent gets stronger as the interview progresses, particularly the /g/ consonant in -ing ending words, which is often dropped (working, using, singing). The consonant /r/ is strong and lengthened, and often overpowers its previous vowel (territory, mirror, hurry, cure).  The consonant /t/ is uniformly dropped at the end of the word “first.”  Unvoiced plosive consonants (/p/, /t/, and /k/) become strongly percussive as the subject talks about life on the peach orchard (grandpa, pawpaw, pick, peaches, trees, cut). The archetypical Southern vowel change of /e/ (dress) to /ɪ/ (kit) occurs throughout the story (memory, remember, when). The diphthong /aɪ/ (price) loses its second vowel, becoming /a/ (implied, might, white, biting, I, time find). The vowel /u/ (goose) is preceded by the vowel /ɜ/ (nurse) (you, zoo, goose). Other times, the vowel /u/ (goose) receives extra volume (huge). The tongue is at a lower position for the diphthong /eɪ/ (face), allowing the diphthong to approach /aɪ/ (price) (plain, April John). The /ɔ/ vowel (thought) is strong, lengthened in the word “straw.” Ending /t/ becomes a glottal stop in several one-syllable words (kit, foot, that, ate). The /ʊ/ (foot) vowel becomes the diphthong /oʊ/ (goat) in the word “woman.” The schwa /ə/ (comma) precedes that diphthong /oʊ/ in the word “so.” Lastly, the subject uses the filler words “eh” and “em” rather than “um.”

COMMENTARY BY: Ben Corbett

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 06/12/2019

The archive provides:

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