Scottish Hospitality

Margaret, the Berkely Scott hersel, published a story illustrating the Doric speech of NE Scotland.  Here is a brief excerpt:

Aifter we hid oor fish n’chips, Sybil said she wid affy like a bath. Weel, fit she actually said, wis, “Gee you guys, after all I’ve been through today, I’d really love to soak in a tub!”  But we hidna a bath, an’ the best we wid offer, as Dad said, “Ye kin sweel yer face at the kitchen sink.  Fit’s a’ the wap aboot?  We’ll pit tee the kettle an’ ye kin hae a bowlie o’ het watter.  We, oorels, tak a bath in front o’ the fire on Fridays, an’ changes oor shift.  An’ ye want tae wash yer hair an’ a’?  Losh be here, gin ye dee that, ma quine, ye’ll be smoarin’ wi’ the caul’ the morn!”

You can read more at her site here.  Click on the link to “Scottish Hospitality” for a pdf file of the story, or click on “short excerpt” to hear her narration.

The students in my phonetics class gave reports this morning on their observations of children’s speech.  We all had fun with this project.  We were all glad to learn that all the children were above average–or at least normal for their age.  They were saying things like, “Mor naenas piz” and “Ai wub ju!”


Fun with Funetics

I am having fun and learning along with my students in the phonetics class I am teaching this semester.  Here are some online resources we have found, if you also find language fascinating:

The University of Iowa has a really nice online phonetics tutorial for English, German, and Spanish.  Just click on the German flag, and you can see a diagram of the speech organs, along with a closeup of a native speaker, and audio for the individual sounds of the language, and representative words.  Thanks to my student Megan Baehr for finding this resource.  The Speech Accent Archive contains samples of dialects of English from all around the world.  You can hear a sample paragraph spoken by people from Huron, South Dakota, to Kathmandu (Well, I did find Kabul, Afghanastan, anyway.)  Click on “Browse” and then the Atlas.  A sound sample is given along with transcription in the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Still Learning to Speak

I’m teaching phonetics this semester, which is a new experience.  I have had some linguistics study in the past, and bits and pieces in the study of several ancient (and a few modern) languages–but I’ve never actually taken the course I’m teaching–so I’m learning from my students.  This week they are doing reports, so I’m sitting back and enjoying.  Yesterday we had two reports on French, one on Amharic, and one on Ojibwe.  The real name of the last-mentioned is Anishinaabemowin, but the white folks call it Ojibwe.  See if you recognize these words:

Mi sah (large) Zi be (river) = Miziziibi

Mi shah (great) Gah mi (sea) = Mishigami

Seka (urinating) unck (fox) = Sekunck