Chapter 3: Transcribing Speech Sounds

The following sentences are all the first lines of books. For each, provide an IPA transcription, as narrow as you are able, of how the sentence would be spoken in Canadian English. (Do not try to transcribe the title of the novel or the author’s name.)

  1. There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. (Charlotte Bront√ę, Jane Eyre)
  2. It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen. (George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four)
  3. The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there. (L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between)
  4. You better not never tell nobody but God. (Alice Walker, The Color Purple)
  5. All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. (Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina)
  6. This is the saddest story I have ever heard. (Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier)
  7. I have never begun a novel with more misgiving. (W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor’s Edge)
  8. I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. (Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle)
  9. Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space. (Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye)
  10. In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. (Ludwig Bemelmans, Madeline)
  11. One sunny Sunday, the caterpillar was hatched out of a tiny egg. (Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar)
  12. In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. (J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit)
  13. Down in the valley there were three farms. (Roald Dahl, Fantastic Mr. Fox)
  14. The women of this family leaned towards extremes. (Jane Urquhart, Away)
  15. I seem to have trouble dying. (Lawrence Hill, The Book of Negroes)
  16. The river flowed both ways. (Margaret Laurence, The Diviners)
  17. My name is unimportant. (Nicolas Dickner, Nikolski)
  18. My house stands at the edge of the earth. (Ami McKay, The Birth House)


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