Listen to Arkansas 31, a 64-year-old woman from Little Rock, Arkansas, United States. Click or tap the triangle-shaped play button to hear the subject.
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DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 03/05/1955
PLACE OF BIRTH: Paragould, Arkansas, but raised in Little Rock area
OCCUPATION: retired; worked as a special-needs instructor, and also in a bank
EDUCATION: high school
AREAS OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:
The subject has never lived outside Arkansas. In addition to living in Paragould and the Little Rock area, she spent 11 years in Goshen.
OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH: none
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): 06/03/2020
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, my story about lightning: When I was about five years old, and we still lived in Paragould, and, um, my uncle, who was an alcoholic — but he was a very cool alcoholic — like he was a woodworker and he knew how to do some many things. And, uh, he was coming over for dinner one night, and as my mom was getting dinner ready, and it was lightning like crazy outside. And he took us out; you could teh- — we were kind of afraid. I can remember being a little bit afraid, but he took us in the front yard. And he was having us — he was telling us about the weather and that we didn’t have to be afraid because it was way far over there, and you could see it was just lighting up the sky. And, uh, so we went in, and we ate dinner. And it got stormier and stormier. And I went in and laid down on the couch. I was, you know, like, they were still sitting at the table. Laid down on the couch and fell asleep. And our house got struck by lightning. And my father freaked out ‘cause the, like, the TV blew up. We’d just gotten a TV; had not had a TV before that. And like, all these things, like, just it hit the house; uh, the house got hit. And my father was afraid ‘cause I had fallen asleep on the couch. He thought I was dead. And my mom came running in there like I was fine. Everything was fine.
OK, fast forward to when I was living in Little Rock. We’re living in a house that, um — I was there with my three daughters, and all of a sudden, the sky turns weird color. And, um, I could just feel there was a storm coming, and my kids were on the electronics. They were — one was running a vacuum cleaner. The TV was going. And low and behold, like I just screamed, “Get away from everything!” You could just like — the sky was green. It felt weird. I could feel the hair on my arms standing up. And just as I got them all down into the room, lightning hit that house, caught the house on fire. The animals were all caught in the house. Like, I’m trying to catch cats, throwing the kids out the door – go get, tell the neighbor to call, you know, the fire department, whatever.
Fast forward a few years when I, I moved to North Little Rock. And, like, I’m caught in this storm, trying to get from the grocery store to the back to the house. And it’s like three minutes from the house, so I know this storm is like just right above our house. And I hear like this kaboom-lightning. I get to my house, like, thirty seconds later, and lightning has hit my house, again, for the third time. Three times in my life.
TRANSCRIBED BY: Ben Corbett
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 10/03/2020
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
The subject is aware of her accent and says she’s the only member of her family with a strong Arkansas accent. She tightens and lengthens initial /s/ because of tension in the front of the tongue. Diphthong /eɪ/ (FACE) often, though not always, becomes /aɪ/ (PRICE) (face, plain, made, name, waiting, table, way, able, afraid). Diphthong /aɪ/ (PRICE) often drops its second vowel, becoming /a/ (BATH) (liking, implied, trying, diagnosis, lightning, sky, like, night, finally, right, fine, my surprising, I). The diphthong /oʊ/ (GOAT) becomes /aʊ/ (MOUTH) when the diphthong is stressed (so, only, owner, old, know, coal).
A schwa /ə/ (COMMA) may precede /aʊ/ (MOUTH) when the subject is making a strong point (no). /aʊ/ (MOUTH) diphthong often reduces its second vowel (house, mouth). Vowel /u/ (GOOSE) often receives extra emphasis (duke, lunatic, huge) and can sometimes be preceded by a schwa /ə/ (COMMA) (goose, knew, kaboom). A schwa can also precede the vowel /i/ (FLEECE) (screamed, treatment, asleep, freaked, TV, green). Vowel /ɛ/ (DRESS) becomes /ɪ/ (KIT) (gets, then, again, gently, getting, went). Vowel /æ/ (TRAP) can become /ɛ/ (DRESS) (had, fast, cats, and).
Some words drop ending plosive consonants (old, first). Initial consonants are often very strong and sharp. /r/ consonant is often strong and lengthened (here, store, fire, nurse). Lastly, notice the pronunciation of the word “territory.”
COMMENTARY BY: Ben Corbett
DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 12/03/2020
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