Linguistics 001      Fall 2015     Homework 3      Due We 9/23

1. Write the first four lines of Emily Dickinson's poem "I dwell in Possibility" in IPA using the system discussed in the lecture on English pronunciation. These days, most standard word processing programs should be able to deal with IPA characters in the standard UTF-8 Unicode encoding, which is what you'll get by cutting and pasting from this interactive application for creating IPA strings (or this one).

Assume careful "dictionary" pronunciation of each word. You can use "standard" American pronunciations even if the poem's author clearly assumes some other norms of pronunciation. If you decide to use British norms, or pronunciations from a regional or ethnic variety of American English, let us know that you're doing so.

2. Here is a link to an audio clip of a native of Glasgow starting a story about visiting his old school. A transcript in standard English orthography would be something like

My sister had asked me to take my nephew Peter
to go and see the headmaster at school
cause he's been getting in a bat [="bit"] of trouble.
The headmaster had sent her a letter asking for a meeting,
but she couldn't make it, she was going out, so I says "I'll do it. I'll do it."

Use the IPA to transcribe the last two lines of this passage.

3. Listen to the this bit of between-song chitchat by Gamble Rogers, musician and raconteur from Florida, who learned guitar picking from Doc Watson, and taught it to Jimmy Buffet:

We got any dog lovers in here tonight?
You notice the way I said that word?
I said "dawg". That's D A W G -- "dawg".
That's man's best friend I'm talking about, lovable, loyal and lop-eared.
(He'll) bring you brandy when you're lost in a snow drift,
lay his grizzled snoot up on your knee
and look up at you with those big limpid brown eyes and say "I love you, I'm a dawg."
And then there're dogs: D O G S -- yip yaps.
(They) weigh about a pound and a half apiece:
be-jeweled, be-ribboned, be-furred, pomaded, powdered,
painted toenails, rhinestone collars,
designed by God and nature to be trolled in the wake of a slow moving boat
in search of large trash fish ... such as hammerhead sharks.

In the lecture on sociolinguistics, we'll take up the connections among class, gender, formality and dialect that this passage expresses. Your task today is simpler: just figure out how to spell Gamble's pronunciation of the phrase I said "dawg" from the passage quoted above, in the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Here is a higher-fidelity copy you can use for careful listening.

You can assume that the consonants are basically spelled in IPA as they are in English (in these three words -- don't assume this in part 1 of this homework!). Thus the result will be something of the form:

V sVd dVg

where each V is replaced by some IPA vowel or vowel sequence.

It may help you to save the audio samples on your computer, and to use a computer program that allows you to select a short segment and listen to it over and over again carefully. To save a linked file to your computer, use right-click>>Save link as... (Windows) or control-click>>Save link as... (Mac OS X).

Some easy-to-use free software of this kind that we can recommend:


Your TA may demonstrate the use of this software in your section meeting.

A number of IPA tutorials are available on the web -- you may find some of them useful (though at least in this course, the lessons in "Ingenuity Pathway Analysis", "iPhone Applications", and other interpretations of the three letters IPA, will probably NOT be helpful...).

Note on joint work: you're welcome to work together on this assignment, but if you do, increase the amount of work by the number of people doing the work. Thus if two of you cooperate, then in (1) you should transcribe 2x4=8 lines of poetry; in (2) you should transcribe two additional lines; and in (3) transcribe the phrase "and then there's dogs" as well.

As usual, please indicate on all joint work who all the authors are.

    [course home page]    [lecture schedule]     [homework]