Arkansas 32

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 75

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 21/11/1944

PLACE OF BIRTH: Little Rock, Arkansas

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: white with Northern European ancestry (English, Scottish, German, and Dutch, with some Irish and Scandinavian)

OCCUPATION: retired IT employee

EDUCATION: MA in comparative literature and an MS in math

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

The subject was born and raised in Little Rock and has spent the last 34 years of her life in Fayetteville. But she has also lived several years outside Arkansas. Most of that time was spent in Houston, Texas, but she also lived in New Orleans, Louisiana; Evanston, Illinois; and Bartlesville, Oklahoma; in addition to Paris, France, for a year.

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): 18/10/2019

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

It happened in Little Rock, uh, when I was, I believe, 15, 14, 15. Um, it was, uh, a March morning. I was in the process of waking up, not, not quite there yet, kinda, kinda in “The Twilight Zone” when I heard a terrible, terrible booming sound that just went on and on and on. And at first I thought it was a sonic boom because we had lots of those since we were close to Little Rock Air Force Base. But when it didn’t stop, I thought, “Oh, no, the Russians are here. The Russians have come. They’re bombing us.”

And just then, my mother, uh, who was already up, yelled from the back porch. She said “Oh my God, a plane just blew up over Little Rock, and it’s falling on our house.”

And, of course, that, that got me up and looking out the window, and I saw a big ball of fire through the pine tree in my window. And so, I, I ran outside too, and by the time I got there, um, the plane had already hit the ground and I could see smoke rising, um, in, in the distance, but not too far distance, and I saw a, um — there was some smoke in the sky where the, um, where the plane blew up. And there was someone floating down on a parachute. And so, um, we, we, then we found out pretty quickly that it was a, a jet from Little Rock Air Force Base that had exploded over Little Rock.

Um, one person survived. He was the one floating down in the, um, parachute, and he landed in a tree in my future English teacher’s backyard. And they, there were, uh, six people, I believe, killed on the ground and, uh, debris everywhere. Some of it landed on, um, one of the Junior High: their, their grounds. Um, and I guess that was one of the most traumatic things that I can remember about growing up in Little Rock, so it’s always a story I could tell if someone asks me to tell them tell them a story about Little Rock. …

TRANSCRIBED BY: Ben Corbett

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 30/03/2020

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

The subject’s accent is relatively light, though it does get stronger as the story progresses. The consonant /r/ lengthens, but it may not necessarily overpower its previous vowel or diphthong.

Vowel /i/ (FLEECE) is sometimes preceded by a schwa /ə/ (COMMA) (street, treatment). Vowel /u/ (GOOSE) may be preceded by a schwa as well (goose, tune, boom too).  However, the /u/ (GOOSE) vowel does not receive the full percussive volume it would in a stronger Northwest Arkansas accent.

Diphthong /aɪ/ (PRICE) drops its second vowel (liking, implied, idea, tire, required, fire, time, twilight, pine). The /eɪ/ (FACE) diphthong greatly reduces its second vowel but doesn’t drop it (take, paying). The /eɪ/ (FACE) diphthong may also change its first vowel because of slight tongue lowering, approaching /aɪ/ (plain, plane).

Vowel /ɛ/ (DRESS) occasionally becomes /ɪ/ (KIT) (then, expensive). The first vowel of /aʊ/ (MOUTH) changes to /a/ (PALM) (only, owner, oh no).

The word “old” drops its final consonant.

COMMENTARY BY: Ben Corbett

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 30/03/2020

The archive provides:

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