Listen to England 49, an 18-year-old man from Englefield Green, Surrey, in southeast England. Click or tap the triangle-shaped play button to hear the subject.
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DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1983
PLACE OF BIRTH: Englefield Green, Surrey
EDUCATION: Subject has attended public school and has completed his A-Levels.
AREA(S) OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:
The subject spent one year in the United States.
OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH: N/A
The text used in our recordings of scripted speech can be found by clicking here.
RECORDED BY: Clancy O’Connor (under the supervision of Paul Meier)
DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 20/04/2002
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:
I am 18 years of age. I come from, uh, a discreet corner of Surrey, which is a county in England, a small village by the name of Englefield Green. I have lived there for as long as I can remember, which is all my life in fact, em, all 18 years of it. It’s a very nice little village, population of about seven thousand. It has a very nice little church and a village green where people play cricket, which is a weird English sport that I don’t get, even though I’ve been watching it for years. So, yeah, I grew up, which was nice, um, and I went to a school in Ascot, Royal Ascot where they have the Royal Ascot races. All the horses, and people go in nice hats and bet on horses an’ stuff. I went to school; it was kind of a private school, although I wasn’t stuck up or anything, because anyone could go. You had all sorts of kids there; there were Chinese kids. Jimmy Chao was one, an’ he couldn’t say twenty; he would say, “Chenty,” as a quick aside. Um, Alex Vinikourov was a, a really rather amusing Russian, who our English teacher would mock constantly, the poor kid. Um, yeah, so, yeah, I went there. And then I stopped going there, uh, but somewhere in between, I think I changed schools, but I couldn’t tell you where or when. So that was nice. I, I took my A-levels, which is like an English, em, exam that you have to take in order to quote-unquote graduate, although English people don’t graduate, they just leave. Um, and then, for some reason, I don’t know — it sounded like a good idea at the time — I decided to come to America for a year, and spend a year in school over here. So I ended up in a small town called Marquette, which is somewhere in the middle of Kansas on the dirt track. Um, and I ended up going to Smoky Valley High School in Lindsborg, where I did stuff an’ acted an’ painted an’ I got to put on one of my plays, which was nice. Um, an’ it was all really rather tiring. And they wouldn’t let me compete in anything, the blighters, because I’d already completed my education in England. So, despite my desire to compete in forensics, tennis, basketball, they would not let me. And while I was over here, a very kind family took me to Hawai-eye, or Hawaii, which was absolutely delightful. I got pulled up on stage at one point to do a hula dance, an’ my friend already knew, so I’m convinced he was just trying to make me look bad. But there we are. Um, this evening, I will be going back to eat some nice meat, at my host grandmother’s house, and we will play cards. And it’ll all be very merry, I’m sure. I’ll then go home. I have piles of homework to do, which I’m not really looking forward to, in the slightest.
TRANSCRIBED BY: Jacqueline Baker
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 01/09/2008
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
In the unscripted portion of the interview, the subject talks about growing up in Surrey, England. He recounts some memories of going to school there and relates those experiences to some that he has had over the past year as a foreign-exchange student in America. He has completed his A-Levels in England and transferred to American schools as a senior in high school. Since he had already, in effect, completed the English equivalent of a high school education, he was barred from playing sports or participating in competitive speaking and acting competitions (forensics) at Smoky Valley High School in Lindsborg, Kansas, in the United States. The subject had lived in America for almost a year at the time of the interview, and American English has had a marked influence on his speech. For example, not many of the final t’s are aspirated. Perhaps the subject never aspirated his final t’s, even in England, but one can assume so since the aspiration of the final t is one of the more distinctive features of British English. More interesting is the influence that the American rhythm has had on the subject’s speech pattern. He has adopted the American pattern of starting off a sentence strong and ending weak. Brits tend to give greater stress to the last few words of a sentence. In terms of pitch, however, the subject has not strayed much. He still enjoys his higher pitch and relishes the use of pitch to achieve emphasis. For example, listen to the way he says “cricket.” Phonemically, there is not a lot of difference between RP and what you will hear from the subject. The differences that do exist are baffling in the sense that it is difficult to imagine how these sounds worked their way into the subject’s speech, unless they are characteristics of Surrey speakers. The first is the way the subject treats the diphthong in words such as “nice,” “fine,” “wild,” etc. His vowel of choice is more lip-rounded than the American but not quite as lip-rounded as the Cockney. The use of the schwa, however, is not much different that what one might expect. Note how he pronounces “anything,” for example. Another vowel that falls somewhere between RP and Cockney is that of “race” or “date.” Listen to the fronting of the vowel in “goose” and “hoola.” Lastly, many features of the subject’s dialect are in line with RP. He uses linking r’s, his speech is non-rhotic, and the pitch is higher than in American English.
COMMENTARY BY: Clancy O’Connor (under the supervision of Paul Meier)
DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 20/04/2002
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