Listen to Italy 5, a woman in her 20s from the Lake Lugano area of northern Italy. Click or tap the triangle-shaped play button to hear the subject.
DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1970s
PLACE OF BIRTH: Lecco, northern Italy, near Swiss border
OCCUPATION: graduate student
EDUCATION: university degree
AREA(S) OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:
The subject spent time in Milan as a university student and then one year in Amsterdam and then traveled around the United States. At the time of recording, she was at the University of Kansas, in the United States.
OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:
She started studying English when she was 11. She went to a linguistic high school where she learned German, French and English.
RECORDED BY: Yuji Tsuboi and Paul Meier
DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 03/08/2000
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 was born in Lecco, but I never live there. It’s just that is the place where my mother was born so she wanted to go back to where her family lives to bore the children. And I grew up in a little village very close to the border to Switzerland, kind of 10 kilometers to the Switzerland, the Italian part of the Switzerland where they speak Italian. And there is a little village on the lake of Lugano more or less four-thousand inhabitants, and I live there until I was a 19, then to go to the university. The nearest university for us is in Milan. So I had to move to Milan. And, ah, I studied there at the university. I studied the Italian literature, and, ah, during the university, I moved for one year in the Netherlands. And I have lived there one year in the Netherlands in Amsterdam because I attended one year of university there. And then, ah, when I finished my university I came here to the U.S. for two month because I wanted to, to take a Ph.D. here so I went, ah, I travel a little bit around the US visiting different universities and meeting with different professors. And, ah, then I went back to Italy. I work for one year in an advertising company while I was preparing of my application to come here. And then I received the news I entered. I’ve been admitted at the department of history for Ph.D. here at KU. And I moved in August ’99 year to Kansas. But I really miss Italy a lot. Haha, I come as I told from the real North of Italy where we pronounce the words very closed. For example, the lake close to where we live is the lake of Como, we say. We pronounce it Como while people from south of Italy would pronounce it Como, which is different. And, ah, my brother is telling that I’m started to pronounce all the vowel as people from south of Italy and, ah, I’m pronouncing the words of really open. And then, I feel that this was because of the pronunciation of here in Kansas. When I listen, I mean to the programs from the local television, when I talk to my students in class, when I talk to my other classmates, I mean it’s really open of the pronunciation. And that is, ah, I cannot hear in that; I mean I do not realize it, but it was not only my brother. My brother told me, a, you know, I was talking also with the other friends, and they told the same. You really started to change your pronunciation in Italia.
[Subject speaks in Italian: Il nome del mio paese e’ Porlezza e si trova sul lago di Lugano. Porlezza e’ un paesino molto, molto bello perche’ si trova in fondo a una valle ed e’ circondato dalle Alpi, dalle montagne. Si trova sul lago di Lugano che e’ tutto in Svizzera tranne una piccolissima parte in Italia. E’ un posto estremamente isolato perche’ ci sono solo due strade che lo collegano al resto del mondo, e sono delle strade molto strette: da una parte c’e’ direttamente la montagna e dall’altra parte a strapiombo il lago.] [English translation:] The name of my village is Porlezza, and it is near the lake of Lugano. Porlezza is a little village: very, very beautiful, as it is located in a valley and it is surrounded by the Alps. It is near the lake of Lugano, which lies mostly in Switzerland, except for a small part that is in Italy. [Porlezza] is a very isolated place, as there are only two roads that connect it to the rest of the world, and both of them are very narrow; on one side there is directly the mountain, on the other side the lake.
TRANSCRIBED BY: Yuji Tsuboi (under the supervision of Paul Meier)
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 11/02/2008
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
Subject’s accent is quite strong. She demonstrates the difference between the Northern Italian and Southern Italian accents on the pronunciation of “Lake Como.” The intrusive schwa is quite evident.
If you are a dialect researcher, or an actor using this sample to develop your skill in the accent, please see my instruction manual at www.paulmeier.com. As the speaker in this sample is a unique individual, it is highly unlikely that she will conform to my analysis in every detail. But you will find it interesting and instructive to notice which of my “signature sounds” and “additional features” (always suggested only as commonly heard features of the accent) are widely used by most speakers of the accent, and which are subject to variation from individual to individual.
COMMENTARY BY: Paul Meier
DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 03/08/2000 (amended 13/11/2016)
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