Arkansas 38

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 43

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 12/11/1976

PLACE OF BIRTH: Forrest City

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Black

OCCUPATION: hairstylist

EDUCATION:

The subject has attended college and, at the time of this interview, was pursuing her bachelor’s degree in supply-chain management.

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

The subject has lived most of her life in the Arkansas Delta but also lived seven years in various cities in northwest Arkansas and eight years in Dallas, Texas.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

She says that her father always made her read. She also says that there were few fellow black Arkansans in her college classes.

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): 06/10/2020

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

Well, so I grew up in, um, uh — the bigger part of the city is called Forrest City, but the small, smaller part is called Vicksboro: about 300 people. I’ve always been a girl that likes to dress up — keeps me being a hairstylist. But we lived out where the roads were dust and rocks. So [subject laughs] I had, uh, five siblings, uh, two sisters and three brothers; and then we lived next door to my cousins, and there was five of them. And so, um, summer days for us: Typically a day would be going outside and either playing sports in the front yard — like we would play football. We had a basketball goal with a dirt court because it was all dusty out there, or we would, um, make, make bikes or make go-carts out of old rims from a car. My brother was very creative, and he would get like an old plank and put it on top of the rims and run a stick between the rims and somehow anchor the plank to it, and that’s how we would ride through the yards in a make-shift go-cart. He was smart. Or what my uncles would do sometimes is take a cord and hang it in a tree and run this cord from the tree to the ditch and get some old bicycle handles, and we would zip — I didn’t know then it was called zip-lining, but that’s what we were doing — and made a zipline.

But, um, and then when the ditches would flood, they would take what now we call pole vaults; they would go and find these — I think these sticks are probably ten feet — and run, jump with the stick, and jump over the ditch. But, now that’s what they did, but I didn’t do it ‘cause I was too cute. I was too cute for all that. I didn’t want to get hot. I didn’t want to get bit by mosquitoes. I don’t want to sweat. So I would stand and watch. I think that’s why I am the way I am today: not very athletic, ‘cause I want to be involved, but I just couldn’t bring myself. And also, um, we would, they would — I did once — when it would rain, with the flooded ditches, they would go down the street. And, uh, we had these three bridges called first, second, and third bridges: weird. And so the first bridge would flood, which is basically a big ol’ stream, and they would get in there and start swimming in muddy water, fish, and all that stuff in the water; I would always stand on, stand the bank and watch. I didn’t get in. And so becau- and mainly the reason I didn’t get: I would always dress up and my mother — um, back in the day, little Black girls would get their hair pressed out by a pressing comb, what you would call a pressing curl. And so I didn’t want to get my hair wet.

So, one particular summer day, they were out swimming in the dirt, and I had my, in the dirt, dirt water, I had my cute little shorts that I had never forget it; it was a white shirt with purple shorts and the top and a pur-purple pocket, and I had my hair in my little barrettes. And they snatched me in the water. And I was devastated. I think I was about nine. And so I was like, “Well, shoot, I’m already wet. Just let me go ahead and play.” And so by the time we got out of the water and walked back down the road home, my momma was about to go to town. And I was like, “I’m wet and dirty.” [unclear] So, she made me sit out in the hot sun and dry off ‘til my clothes became dry and my hair became dry. So, that’s a typical day out in the country with me growing up is just not fanning the doors, playing outside, being creative, and sweating. So that’s it.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Ben Corbett

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 06/10/2020

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

PRICE [aɪ] words uniformly use the monophthong [a] (private, implied, surprising, finally, fry, tried, side, required price, nine, fire, time, outside, futile, five, nine).

KIT [ɪ] words use long vowel [i] FLEECE (district, different, thin, zip, lived, ditch, bridge, in, fish).

DRESS [e] words use short vowel [ɪ] KIT (then, when, get, forget).

Consonant [g] is left off the end of the word “calling” while consonant [d] is left off the end of the word “old.”

LOT [ɒ] words use the diphthong MOUTH [aʊ] (on, dog, long, cost, top, office).

Plosive consonants [b], [p], [d], [t], [g], and [k] are strongly percussive (daily, dirt, duck, kit, cousins, goose, go, back, palm, expensive, bath). Affricate consonant [dʒ] is also strongly percussive (jacket, gently). The STRUT [ʌ] vowel also is strongly percussive (dust, up) and may be lengthened with a slight pitch glide (run, flood).

FACE [eɪ] words use the diphthong PRICE [aɪ] (plain, bathe, rain). FACE [eɪ] words may also use the pure vowel [e] (name).

Ending [r] consonant occasionally drops from LETTER [ɚ] words (mirror).

THOUGHT [ɔ] words sometimes use the MOUTH [aʊ] diphthong (always, walk, ball). GOAT [oʊ] words may occasionally use the MOUTH [aʊ] diphthong as well (owner).

The consonant cluster [st] occasionally uses consonant [ʃ] SHOES (stream) while consonant cluster [ch] occasionally uses consonant [ʃ] SHOES (much).

The word “mosquitoes” ends with a schwa [ə] COMMA before the ending [z] sound. The word “vault” is spoken as “vote.” The word “siblings” uses the diphthong [eɪ] FACE in the first vowel position. And the word “animal” is spoken with the [e] DRESS vowel in the initial position.

COMMENTARY BY: Ben Corbett

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 22/10/2020

The archive provides:

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  • 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).

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