Kenya 2

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 24

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 30/01/1993

PLACE OF BIRTH: Gilgil, Kenya

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Kikuyu

OCCUPATION: student

EDUCATION: bachelor of arts in theatre

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

The subject lived in Kenya until she moved to Kansas City, Missouri, United States, at the age of 19.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

The subject learned Kiswahili first at home. When she went to school, she continued to learn Kiswahili as well as English up to high school. She also took French for six years. Her grandparents spoke Kikuyu in the home, and she learned it through listening. Her family speaks a combination of Kiswahili and English at home. She said, “I speak Swahili with bits of English” at home. A proud Kenyan, she intentionally resisted pronouncing words in an “American accent.”

The text used in our recordings of scripted speech can be found by clicking here.

RECORDED BY: Scott Stackhouse

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 10/04/2018

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

When I graduate, I would like to go back home to Kenya. And the reason why I would want to go back home to Kenya is because the problems there are different from the problems in America. Um, in Kenya, you don’t have to worry so much about “Will my family members show up for my wedding or my birthday?” But in America, it’s very often that you find even a close relative say to you that, you, they can’t come to your event because they have to work, um, one or two shifts; or some people will come for part of the wedding or the birthday. It’d be like in between shifts so. I like the sense of community and togetherness and just how big of an event certain life celebrations are. Even when a baby’s born, there’s what they called “shai” [ʃai] for the baby, where all the women in the family come together and just celebrate the baby. And even when someone plans to get married, you have a series of meetings between families and just that — I miss that; when I’m in America, sometimes I feel like no matter how much money you would want to have or success or fame, I think the most important thing in life is to have, um, like, just close relationship, deep relationships to the people around you.

[Subject speaks in Kiswahili]: Nawasalimu nyote asubuhi ya leo. Jina langu ni Njeri. Ni siku njema hapa Kansas City. Nina furaha sana kuwazungumzia leo.

[Subject speaks the same in Kikuyu]: Nídamûgeithia inyuothe rûcini rwa ûmûthi. Ritûa riakûa ni Njeri. Ni mûthenya mwega gûkû Kansas City. Nií ndímûkenu kûmûareria ûmûthi.

[English translation: Good morning, everyone. My name is Njeri. It’s a lovely day here in Kansas City. I am happy to be talking with you today.]

TRANSCRIBED BY: Scott Stackhouse

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 12/04/2018

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

The treatment of the DRESS, FACE, PRICE, and BATH sets agrees with General American pronunciation. There is mostly non-rhotic treatment in various combinations such as “nurse,” “square,” “deserted,” “superb,” “birthday,” “together,” “for her,” “part,” and the last sound in “mirror.” There is no presence of a linking /r/. The KIT set moves slightly towards [i] on “kit,” “relationship,” and “picked.” The GOAT set is pronounced as a single stage vowel [o] in “goat,” “no,” and “don’t.” The [æ] vowel sounds pure on “bath,” “managed,” “animal,” “family,” and “happy.” The word “cloth” receives the RP treatment [ɒ] and is distinguishable from the LOT set that agrees more with Gen Am as [ɑ] in words such as “job,” “odd,” “no,” and “on.” The vowels in “Duke” and “tune” are pronounced without a preceding [j] sound. The fricatives [θ] and [ð] are dentalized and lose their fricative aspect; however, they don’t fully move to [d] or [t]. The [t] sounds are aspirated in the middle position on “waiting,” “letter,” “matter,” and “certain.” Note the particular pronunciation of “penicillin” and the switched stress of “success.”

COMMENTARY BY: Scott Stackhouse

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 12/04/2018

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.