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The speaker is a 72-year-old White woman with a grade school education from Palmer, Alaska; she was recorded in 1968.



County: Matanuska-Susitna
State: AK

Commentary:
Palmer lies in the Matanuska Valley, which was first inhabited by the Dena???ina and Ahtna Athabascan peoples. The city is named after American entrepreneur George W. Palmer, who opened a trading post nearby in the 1880s. The area became of interest to the U.S. government during World War I, when coal fields north of town became a vital source of fuel for battleships. In 1935 the federal government helped over 200 families from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin relocate to the region and establish farms in the valley. Although the failure rate was high, agriculture remains an important part of the local economy. Palmer is about forty miles northeast of Anchorage and has a present-day population of almost 6,000. In this segment the speaker talks about the aftereffects of her childhood bout with polio.
Inf: You know, I have what you call a defective speech.

FW: Have you?

Inf: At-, oh yes, mm-, from, uh, I had that since I had the stroke.

FW: Have you really? Well I wouldn???t say so. You certainly don???t sound so. You???ve been talking very [Inf: Yeah-] naturally to me.

Inf: Yeah, I know. But, but eh, but, eh, when it comes to anything like that, then if it???s anything t-, to read [FW: Mm-hmm] out like that, then I???m stuck. Now I won???t take any office in any of the lodges that I???m in, just what I tell ???em, I???m, I???m very sensitive about my, uh, my defective speech.

FW: You had a stroke recently? No.

Inf: No. It was more, when I had the polio. I never recovered that.

FW: Oh, way back, you mean from your childhood?

Inf: Uh-huh.

FW: When you were two years old?

Inf: Yeah. It, it, I???ve never overcome it. They, they worked on me there, golly, my sisters worked on me and my mother worked on me, and my dad work-, worked on me. And I had an uncle that, that was a schoolteacher and he worked on me.

FW: But what I must say, I haven???t noticed any defect in your speech. You mean to say that you just feel, uh, uncertain [Inf: Well, uh] about it?

Inf: Uh, uncertain about it and und-, uh, and when it comes to pronouncing, you know [FW: Mm-hmm] certain words, I can???t do it [FW: Well] and that???s why I???m ashamed of it [FW: Uh]. You know I won???t, uh???

FW: Everybody has difficulty with a few words [Inf: I uh-]. There???s two or three words I can???t say right.

Inf: Yeah, well I, I uh, no, I???ve been that way. I, it???s like I say, the lodges they-, they been after me and after me and after me and wanted me to, to be an officer in the lodges, but I won???t [FW: Mm-hmm].

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