Arthur the Rat Helps Dialect Researchers

the Rat

How did this short story help dialect
researchers? Read more below….

Arthur the Rat

Between 1965-1970, DARE field researchers recorded hundreds of people across the United States telling this story. These recordings serve as a record and reference of the various phonemes in American English.

As a part of our virtual exhibition, you can get a taste of some of the unique accents and dialects recorded. Audio for the stories were recorded in various locations, from people’s homes to coffeeshops and roadside diners. The background noises in the video reflect these dynamic settings.

Below is a video of various DARE informants telling the story of “Arthur the Rat”. Information on each speaker is provided, and a full script of the audio can be accessed here. Do you recognize any regional accents?

Return to the Dictionary of American Regional English Virtual Exhibit