Listen to Arkansas 41, a 54-year-old woman from Fordyce and Conway, Arkansas, United States. Click or tap the triangle-shaped play button to hear the subject.
DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 22/08/1966
PLACE OF BIRTH: Fordyce, Arkansas
ETHNICITY: Black American
OCCUPATION: associate dean of higher education
EDUCATION: MA in business management
AREAS OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:
The subject has never lived outside Arkansas for more than six months. She was raised between Fordyce and Monticello, and lived in Conway for 38 years.
OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:
The subject was raised by teachers, including her mother. Such an upbringing helped her code switch when needed. For instance, she could speak slang when in a more informal setting.
RECORDED BY: Ben Corbett
DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 19/03/2021
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, it was in the fall of 1992. My husband at the time and I decided that eventually we wanted to become parents. And I had been a person who had been on birth-control pills at a very early age and lasted a long time — was on for years and years and years, and I always heard the stories about “Well, you know, if you’ve been on those pills for a long time, then it’s gonna take a while for you to conceive.” Well, I got off of the birth-control pills in October, um, and thinkin’, “Hey, we would have until 1993, late in 1993, before we would be tellin’ the story of ‘hey, we’re having a a baby!’”
Well, it happened so quick. At December, in December of 1992, I was sharing information with most of our families by way of Christmas cards saying “grandmother this or granddaddy this or auntie this or auntie this, great-aunt this” to let them know we’re pregnant.
Now, this was a shock when I went to the doctor. The doctor was like, “You don’t seem happy.” And I was like, “No, I’m not happy” because he told me that my due date was going to be August the 17, 1993, which was the anniversary of me and my husband’s wedding. So, oh my gosh, got to thinking that there was so much going on at that time in the month of August: August the 7th, August the 9th is my grandmother’s birthday; August the 22nd my gran; me, my birthday and my sister’s birthday, and we’re not twins; August the 30th was, ah, my husband’s, ah, birthday, and then our anniversary was August the 17th. Not another thing needed to be in the month of August.
So, I was distraught and, you know, upset about that fact. But then I eventually got over it and, um, moved forward with the pregnancy. Now the pregnancy did become troubled at some point in time because I developed something called eclampsia which [sic] a life-or-death situation. But with all of that in the mix, my father ended up suffering a cere-cerebral hemorrhage in June 1993. And so old people always say, “When one life ends, another comes into the picture.” But he didn’t die, uh, at that point in time. And so he, he was on a coma scale, very low. I was pregnant at the time, dealin’ with my illness and all that kind of stuff. And now here he is flat on his back, uh, in a coma for 21 days, um, going through what he needed to go through to try to get well. I’m going back and forth to the hospital in Little Rock because they moved him to Little Rock. My doctor has me in a hospital here in Conway. And it was just so much going on in our family.
Um, my dad had often said that he would live to see his, his granddaughter. He knew we was pregnant, but he said, “I probably won’t live to see her grow up.” And so that weighed heavily, you know, willing him to live. He, he did get a chance to see her, but we don’t know how much he remembers of her. She was born July the second, 1993, right when he was in the hospital, so my doctor had a, you know, she, you know, I was supposed to deliver in Conway. But I got in trouble, and so she moved me to, uh, the same hospital that he was in so that my mom didn’t have to go back and forth and she could be in the same spot. And my baby had to be in the hospital for two weeks.
Now, we did get a chance to let her go in, and we have photos with him looking at her, or we thought he was looking at her because he never really came out of that, um, comatose state. He lived, you know, he would sleep, he would wake up, and he lived until March the 9, 1994, um, and then he said goodbye.
And so that’s why my story is the beginning and the end because, you know, I was a troubled pregnancy, and the doctor was getting us to make decisions about, well, you know, we have to say if we have to, you know, we will save the mother instead of the daughter — the child — because the mom, you know, can have other children. And I was like, “Oh my God, no!” And so I felt like we just, you know, my dad was kinda moving out of the way so that she could be here. The end.
TRANSCRIBED BY: Ben Corbett
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 30/03/2021
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
GOOSE [u] vowel often receives extra emphasis (duke, goose, tune, due, moved).
A schwa [ə] COMMA occasionally precedes GOAT [oʊ] (so, no).
DRESS [e] words occasionally are formed with short vowel [ɪ] KIT (get, when, eventually, then, end).
Final [r] consonant before an unvoiced consonant or affricate [θ, tʃ] or consonant “n” may be dropped (north, born, march).
The final [d] may be unformed in a final consonant blend (old, told).
STRUT [ʌ] often receives strong emphasis when near the beginning of a word or when it’s the only vowel in a word (husband, upset, much, strut).
Beginning consonant [ð] THAT may release as plosive [d] DOG (then, that, that).
Monophthongization of diphthong [aɪ] PRICE often occurs (while, by, time, tried, diagnosis, decided, finally, my). This does not occur, however, in words “right” and “side.”
Consonant cluster [st] occasionally uses consonant [ʃ] (strut).
LOT [ɒ] and THOUGHT [ɒ:] words are lengthened with a slightly raised tongue, forming [aʊ] MOUTH (on, only, owner, thought, cost, long, dog, often, off).
The word “plain” is formed with [aɪ] PRICE diphthong.[ɪ] KIT vowel is often lengthened, with a schwa [ə] COMMA following it (until, did, live, in, him).
Ending [g] may be left off the end of words when it is in an -ing suffix (telling, going).
The word “mirror” is formed without a final [r].
The word “December” is formed emphasizing the first syllable.
The word “Conway” uses the STRUT [ʌ] vowel in the first syllable.
The word “and” uses DRESS [e] as the initial vowel.
COMMENTARY BY: Ben Corbett
DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 31/03/2021
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