Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Accents - Once More with Sound

I happened to have a copy of a radio interview that my father did a few months ago about the Pecan Oil business he is running. If you want to know all about pecan oil and, hey buy some! and tell him I sent you, go to http://www.pecanoil.com. Anyway, since it includes him talking, I realized you could hear the Louisiana accent I am referring to. And since it is my dad, we will have something of similar voices, and so I re-read the first few sentences of what he said in my version of a standard American accent so that you can compare.

First up, we have the first minute of the intereview. My father will obviously be the male one speaking.

Pecan oil interview as an mp3.
When I speak to him, I can't even hear an accent, but when I heard this radio interview, it's loud and clear. I don't know what this is. The same is true for all of my family. Here I am saying the same thing in a standard accent, and a little faster.

Part 1
Part 2

Hopefully, you can all hear a clear difference between the two dialects. However, if you are like me, you can hear it, but it isn't obvious exactly what's different. So I did some analysis of the files, listening for precise changes. Most of it appears to have to do with the vowels. We are pronouncing different vowels in the same words. There's also something going on with my father's [r]s, but I am not sure exactly what. Are they just being dropped? Not really. Anyway, here are singel words and phrases picked out between him and me, so you can compare.

Healthy Lousiana
Healthy Standard
Notice how my father has a diphthong in healthy where I do no? The vowel shifts from a central-ish area up high. I, however, stay mostly central.

Oil Lousiana
Oil Standard
The opposite happens on this vowel pair. I have a diphthong in oil, sliding from the back of my mouth to the top and front. [Oi]. My father, however, keeps the same vowel through-out the word.

High Lousiana
High Standard
Another diphthong/monothong difference. I slide during the vowel from a front and low area, while my father keeps the same vowel through-out.

And now you've done linguistic analysis. If people find this interesting, I will try to do similar posts in the future with other accents and languages -- as long as the university here gives me more web space.


Robin S. said...

Hi paca,

I tried to listen- it said I was 'forbidden to listen on this server'. What do I do now?

pacatrue said...

I just fixed it, robin.

Church Lady said...

I am getting high speed internet wednesday night (see my blog entry)

I will spend HOURS on Thursday going through your blog, Stephen Parrish's blog, and AW's blog and Ello's blog listening to all the videos I couldn't see/hear before. I mean like now.

Robin S. said...

Hey paca-
This was so much fun- you dad sounds like such a southern gentleman. I still hear a softness in your voice as well, by the way,
even though it's been "standardized". I guess my roots are firmly middle class - cause, as you'd mentioned on another post - I'm decebtly adept at moving in and out of southern - but the more relaxed I am, the southern I speak. My voice mail at work doesn't even osund like me- it took about 8-10 takes to get it that way.

Anyway- I noticed how your dad pronounced "temperature" - "tem-per-ah-toor'". That's how my mother and her relatives (from rural Kentucky) pronouce it as well.

I have a sound thingie for a page out of my book - if you ever wanna post a Kentucky accent- let me know- and I'll email it to you.

SzélsőFa said...

this is really interesting for me. Keep on doing similar posts.
I love comparing dialects.
I bet I have my own very special one, too.

pacatrue said...

I think I will try to continue this idea now that the university just gave me more web space. I've already got more ideas than I can do.