African American accent survey

This is a survey to help linguists learn about regional variation in African American English speakers’ accents. We want to know: how are black accents different across the US? We do not ask for or store any personal identifying information.


This survey has two parts. In the first, you record yourself reading a short story called “Junebug Goes to the Barber.” The second asks a few questions about your background. That’s all there is to it.

Part 1: Short story

Instructions: Please record yourself reading this story. The recording window is to the right of the story. Press "record", read the story, and then press "stop". Finally, click "click here to save" when you're done. Note, the "record" button may say something like "click to enable Adobe Flash Player" and may ask for microphone access. These are necessary to let you record.
When you're done, press "click here to save". Then copy the link it provides under "Sharing options" and paste it into the first survey question. Very Important: the recording only gets sent if you hit "submit" at the bottom of the survey!

JUnebug GOes To the barber

Recording window

Powered by Vocaroo Voice Recorder

So here’s the deal: Marcus is named after his dad, but everyone just calls him Junebug. He’s turning twelve this week. His momma stay watching him like a hawk. She’s always asking him "where you going?" But today, she’s letting Junebug go to the barbershop by himself. That’s probably cuz it’s so near she can see him from down the street anyway. He don’t even care. He’s just happy he can take care of getting a haircut. They’re having a birthday cookout on Saturday and everyone’s gonna be there. Everyone. that means the boys from school and the girls from school too — so you know he’s gotta look fresh. It’s like his old man is always telling him: always come correct.

There's a lot of people outside when he leaves home. First he sees Miss Mary. 
She asks "how you doing lil man?"
Miss Mary is acting like she caught him misbehaving. "where you off to without your momma?" 
"I’m just going to the shop"
"you must be feeling yourself. Out here struttin around like you grown." Miss Mary always teases Marcus, but he knows she don’t mean nothing by it.
He tells her "I’m finna be twelve. She said I can go by myself."
"twelve?! Seems like yesterday you was just five! alright now big man, you take care of yourself. And tell your momma and them I say hi."
"yes ma’am."
Next he runs into Mr. Robertson. He’s a musician. He’s practically a giant, but everyone calls him "Tiny." he’s got a cart with him for his drums, and he’s moving fast cuz he’s running late for a church gig. he’s muttering to himself, talkin’ about, "rev gon' kill me!"  
He plays jazz, so he was out late for a tribute to Barry Harris and he overslept. He’s been oversleeping more and more lately.
"he gon' be mad!"
Marcus asks "what happened?"
Tiny tells him: "what do you think? I overslept! now I gotta bring all these things to the church before the singers arrive!"

When Marcus gets to the shop, everyone is there. The regular corner boys are out front as usual. Junebug always sees the same barber. Everyone calls him Mac, even though his name is Terrence. Ain't nobody foolish enough to call him Terry, neither. Mac is out front talking to a brother with a beard. Mac stops and bends down to dap Junebug up. "You're up next. You make a choice yet?" he says, pointing to the poster on the wall with different hair styles.
"Yeah, anything."
"Can I have a fade?"
"of course."
"...but with three lines? pencil thin?"
"Where's your momma at?" Mac knew Junebug's mom and dad usually choose for him, and they don't usually choose nothing that daring.
"She said I could come by myself."
"Then you got it, big man."
As Junebug sat down in the barber's chair, he knew it was gonna be a good day.

Done? Please click the button marked "Click to stop" then click the button marked "click here to save". Now copy, and paste the new link in the first survey field below.

Part 2: Short survey

Please record the short story (directly below this). When you click "save" it will provide a sharing option; paste the link here
optional link allowing us to delete your recording sooner
What city or town did you grow up in?
What state was your hometown in? (if Washington D.C. just select Washington D.C.)
What is the highest level of education you completed?
What is the name of the local high school you attended? If you did not attend high school, please write "none".
This question is about biological sex and not gender identity. Your answer will determine how we analyze voice pitch.
Please pick your age range