Arkansas 35

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 62

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 12/11/1957

PLACE OF BIRTH: Harrison, Arkansas

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: 

The subject is white with Western European ancestry (mostly Scottish, English, German, and Irish, with one branch from France and Northern Italy). All of his ancestors came to the United States in the very late 1600s and 1700s.

OCCUPATION: retired

EDUCATION: juris doctor degree from the University of Arkansas

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

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

The subject comes from a family of several teachers. They were strict with grammar. He was taught to speak without a “hill” accent.

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): 21/02/2020

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

My mother owned an insurance business, and, uh, it was right off of the square in my hometown. And my father was the postmaster, and his business was right across from hers. Uh, my aunt was at the drugstore at the other corner. My other aunt was across the square in a law office, and my other aunt was at the dry-good store. So, my, pretty much my entire family was-s around the square in the little town that I grew up.

When I grew up, I could walk to town, ride my bike to town. The dog would follow. We could go in any of these places and, uh, talk to any of these people and pass the time, especially on Saturday; that was a good time to do that. And you could leave and not have to lock your house. You could go wherever you wanted to. Everybody knew everyone else. And, uh, that was a great time, uh, and I look back sometimes with, with, uh, nostalgia at growing up in one of those small Arkansas towns back in the 60s.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Ben Corbett

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 21/05/2020

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

Though the subject was raised in Harrison, in northwest Arkansas, some of his sounds are more consistent with north-central Arkansas. Interestingly, the consonant /r/ is either very light or dropped at the end, and sometimes in the middle, of two- and three-syllable words (mirror, letter, owner, remembered, warned, corner). Yet it is kept and hit hard at the end of one-syllable words (square, cure).

The second vowel of the diphthong /aɪ/ (PRICE) disappears before both voiced and unvoiced consonants (wiped, might, time, paying). The /a/ (BATH) vowel often changes to /eɪ/ (FACE), though it is not drawn out as in the archetypal Southern accent. The /ɛ/ (DRESS) to /ɪ/ (KIT) shift occurs, though mostly in the word “then.” /ɑ/ (PALM) shifts to /ɔ/ (THOUGHT) (law, office, walk).

The diphthong /aʊ/ (MOUTH) can occasionally reduce its second vowel significantly (town, towns), colored with a little nasality. The ending /oʊ/ (GOAT) is dropped when it concludes a word (yellow, follow). A schwa /ə/ (COMMA) precedes the diphthong /oʊ/ (GOAT) (goat, so). The ending /d/ is left off the word “old.”  The ending /t/ is left off the end of the word “first.” /ʊ/ (FOOT) vowel becomes /oʊ/ (GOAT) in the word “woman.”

Ending /s/ can be slightly sibilant.

COMMENTARY BY: Ben Corbett

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 21/05/2020

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.

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