Phonetic transcription exercise

Due session 4

1. Transcribe the sentences in the following sound files:

2. The Texan speaker in the recording at 0:06 to 1:05 uses two allophones of the /ɪ/ phoneme (the vowel in words like ‘this’, ‘it’, etc). Transcribe these two allophones. Do you think this is free variation or could it be conditioned variation? Explain why. If you think it might be conditioned variation, suggest a hypothesis about the conditioning factors.

Here is a transcript to help you locate relevant words:

First part of recording:

When the sunlight strikes raindrops in the air, they act as a prism and form a rainbow. The rainbow is a division of white light into many beautiful colors. These take the shape of a long round arch, with its path high above, and its two ends apparently beyond the horizon. There is, according to legend, a boiling pot of gold at one end. People look, but no one ever finds it. When a man looks for something beyond his reach, his friends say he is looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

(public-domain text from International Dialects of English Archive)

Second part of recording:

(Uh) This is (oh)—it’s just a jail delivery that we (uh)—when we went through the (uh), the Heritage Association’s tour, this last year, (uh) we obtained copy of this. And (uh) this—I remember when my grandparents (uh), who had a farm…

(transcription © International Dialects of English Archive. This content is excluded from our Creative Commons license. For more information, see