The Young Rat

The story "The Young Rat" was originally written by Gertrude Sellon under the title "I Don't Know" and published in the 1876 collection The Man's Boot, and Other Tales: or, Fabulous Truths in Words of One Syllable (London: Wertheimer, Lea, and Co., pp. 52-55). It has a long history of being used for elicitation in linguistic research. Paul Passy, the founder of the International Phonetic Association, reportedly adapted the story in 1886, and its use continued into the 1960s for research that was later compiled in the Dictionary of American Regional English. The titular rat is known as Arthur in many versions of the story, but in Sellon's original and in most of the versions used by Rudolph Willard, the rat's name is Grip. Willard appears to have presented slightly different variations on the text to participants recorded at different times.

The Young Rat

Once there was a young rat who couldn't make up his mind. Whenever the other rats asked him if he would like to come out with them he'd answer, "I don't know." When they said, "Would you like to stop at home?" he would not say yes, or no either. He'd always shirk making a choice. One day his aunt said to him, "No one will ever care for you if you carry on like this. You have no more mind than a blade of grass." The young rat coughed and looked wise, as usual, but said nothing. "Don't you think so?" said his aunt, stamping with her foot, for she couldn't bear to see the young rat so cold-blooded. "I don't know" was all the young rat ever answered, and then he would walk off to think for an hour whether he would stay in his hole in the ground or go out in the loft. One night, the rats heard a great noise in the loft. It was a very dreary old loft. The roof let in the rain. The beams and rafters were all rotten so that the place was rather unsafe. At last, one of the joists gave way, and the beams fell with one end on the floor. The walls shook, and all the rats' hair stood on end with fear and horror. "This won't do," said the chief. "We must leave this place." So they sent out scouts to search for a new home. In the night the scouts came back and said they'd found an old coop of a barn where there would be room and board for them all. At once the chief gave the order: "Form in line." The rats crawled out of their holes and stood on the floor in a long line. Just then, the old rat caught sight of young Grip. That was the name of the shirker. He was not in the line, and he wasn't exactly outside it. He stood just by it. "Why don't you speak?" said the old rat, coarsely. "Of course you're coming." "I don't know," said young Grip, calmly. "Why, the idea of it. You don't think it's safe, do you?" "I'm not certain," said Grip, undaunted. "The roof may not come down yet." "Well," said the chief, "we can't wait for you to join us. Right about face. March!" And the long line marched out of the loft while the young rat watched them. "I think I'll go tomorrow," he said to himself. "But then again, I don't know. It's so nice and snug here. I think I'll go back to my hole under the log for a bit just to make up my mind." That night, there was a big crash. Down came the beams, rafters, joists, the whole roof. Next morning, it was a foggy day. Some men came to look at the loft. They thought it odd that it was not haunted by rats. But at last one of the men happened to move a board, and he caught sight of a young rat, quite dead, half in and half out of his hole. Thus the shirker had his due.

Available Files

Creators: Rudolph Willard; Fred Eikel, Jr.; Carmelita Klipple

Interviewers: Rudolph Willard; Katherine E. Wheatley; Fred Eikel, Jr.; Carmelita Klipple; Unknown

Speakers: Jane Addison; H. H. Altgelt; J. H. Arnette; E. Bagby Atwood; William James Battle; Pat Beasley; Mrs. E. G. Bischof; Paula Blair; Walter Blair; Hattie Blount; Juaneva Brown; Marion Brown; Mrs. George Calhoun; J. C. Calhoun; Willet Titus Conklin; Katie Bell Crump; Beatrice Davis; Bryan Dillard; Dorothy Dowdy; Robert Drenner; Frederick Eby; Andrew English; John Henry Faulk; John P. Fuchs; K. Ganz; Rosalyn Gardner; Gloria Vivian Guice; Muriel Hixson; Cleotus B. Holloway; Alice Homburger; Tinka Homburger; Marian Homburger; J. T. Hutchinson; Howard Johnson; Josephine Jones; Robert Kauf; Cecil Kelsey; Barbara Ketchum; Marye Kincaide; Dr. Law; Marjorie Ann Martin; Mr. McDonald; Townsend Miller; Mary Moore; R. Moss; Olivia Dancy Nolte; Dewitt Talmadge Oaks; P. B. Penney; Charles E. Pettee; Edward Pipkins; Mattie J. Poole; George Rayburn; Bess Lora Rayford; Mrs. P. Robertson; Rev. Liff Sanders; Mr. Scott; James Paul Singleton; Sister Generose; Rachel D. Smith; A. John Stafford; Marion Lopkin Stiles; Thomas Sutherland; Billy Tucker; Hal Tucker; Catherine Vineyard; Fred Watson; Harriett Francis Wheatley; Margaret H. Willard; Margy Willard; Mary Willard; Nedaline V. M. Willard; Rudolph Willard; Robin Wilson; Mrs. G. C. Wolfbarth

Speaker: Jane Addison

TELL ID: 0244 [Story begins at 1:22]

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: August 7, 1941

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

College Station, Brazos County, Texas

San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: High school, College

Occupations: College student

Original Recording Location: Box 6, Disc 11, Side 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: H. H. Altgelt

TELL ID: 0478

Creator: Fred Eikel, Jr.

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: 1928-1942

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Comfort, Kendall County, Texas

San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: White

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 9, Disc 17, Side 2, Track 5

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: J. H. Arnette

TELL ID: 0279

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Wake Forest, Franklin or Wake County, North Carolina

Abilene, Taylor or Jones County, Texas

Carbon, Eastland County, Texas

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: 28

Race: Unknown

Education: High school, College

Occupations: Teacher; Department of Public Safety worker

Original Recording Location: Box 6, Disc 23, Side 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0277 (recorded at variable speeds), 0278 (partial). To hear these files, please contact TELL.

Speaker: E. Bagby Atwood

TELL ID: 0108

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Boone County, Kentucky

Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Yoakum, Lavaca or DeWitt County, Texas

Alpine, Brewster County, Texas

New Mexico

Charlottesville, Virginia

Stanford, Santa Clara County, California

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: White

Education: College, Graduate school

Occupations: Professor of Linguistics and Philology, Stanford University and University of Texas at Austin

Original Recording Location: Box 3, Disc 1, Side 2, Track 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: William James Battle

TELL ID: 0272

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: 1920-1948

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina

Chapel Hill, Orange, Chatham, or Durham County, North Carolina

Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio

Sex: Male

Age: Between 39-68

Race: White

Education: College, Graduate school

Occupations: Professor of Greek, University of Texas at Austin; Professor of Classical Languages, University of Cincinnati; Dean of College of Arts, University of Texas at Austin; President, University of Texas at Austin

Original Recording Location: Box 6, Disc 21, Side 1.

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0325. To hear this file, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Pat Beasley

TELL ID: 0234

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: August 31, 1940

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Abilene, Taylor or Jones County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: 18

Race: Unknown

Education: High school, College

Occupations: College student

Original Recording Location: Box 6, Disc 8, Side 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Mrs. E. G. Bischof

TELL ID: 0494

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: July 11, 1941

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

United States

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 9, Disc 24, Side 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Paula Blair

TELL ID: 0495

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date: 1941

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

Sex: Female

Age: 12

Race: White

Education: Some schooling

Occupations: Student

Original Recording Location: Box 9, Disc 24, Side 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Walter Blair

TELL ID: 0274

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: 1941

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Spokane, Spokane County, Washington

New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

Sex: Male

Age: 40

Race: White

Education: College

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 6, Disc 22, Side 2, Track 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Hattie Blount

TELL ID: 0036

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Houston, Harris County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Black

Education: High school (Phyllis Wheatley High School)

Occupations: Student

Original Recording Location: Box 1, Disc 15, Side 2, Track 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0095. To hear this file, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Juaneva Brown

TELL ID: 0010 [Story begins at 3:49]

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 1, Disc 6, Side 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Marion Brown

TELL ID: 0105 [Story + Beginning of "Morgan"], 0106 [End of "Morgan"]

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Katherine E. Wheatley

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Mexia, Limestone County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 2, Disc 23

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Mrs. George Calhoun

TELL ID: 0015

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard, Katherine E. Wheatley

Date: April 17, 1941

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: White

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown (Wife of Travis County Judge George C. Calhoun)

Original Recording Location: Box 1, Disc 8, Side 1;

Box 1, Disc 11

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0022, 0023 (partial). To hear these files, please contact TELL.

Speaker: J. C. Calhoun

TELL ID: 0267

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: 1941

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Rusk, Cherokee County, Texas

Dawson, Navarro County, Texas

Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: 56-57

Race: White

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Oilman; Mayor of Corsicana, Texas; Texas Democratic State Chair

Original Recording Location: Box 6, Disc 19, Side 1, Track 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Willet Titus Conklin

TELL ID: 0442 [Story], 0443 [Biographical]

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Roslyn, Nassau County, New York

Ithaca, Tompkins County, New York

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: College, Graduate school

Occupations: Associate Professor of English, University of Texas at Austin

Original Recording Location: Box 9, Disc 11, Side 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Katie Bell Crump

TELL ID: 0553

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Henrietta, Clay County, Texas

Lubbock County, Texas

Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas

Denton, Denton County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: College

Occupations: Teacher

Original Recording Location: Box 10, Disc 2, Side 1, Track 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Beatrice Davis

TELL ID: 0037

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Wharton, Wharton County, Texas

Prairie View, Waller County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Black

Education: High school, College

Occupations: College student

Original Recording Location: Box 1, Disc 15, Side 2, Track 3

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0096. To hear this file, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Bryan Dillard

TELL ID: 0561

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Lubbock County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 10, Disc 5, Side 2, Track 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0013 (duplicate), 0560 (partial). To hear these files, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Dorothy Dowdy

TELL ID: 0004

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Louisiana

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 1, Disc 2, Side 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Robert Drenner

TELL ID: 0276

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date: 1940

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Flatonia, Fayette County, Texas

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 6, Disc 23, Side 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Frederick Eby

TELL ID: 0262, 0263

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Ebytown (Kitchener), Waterloo County, Ontario, Canada

Hamilton, Hamilton-Wentworth County, Ontario, Canada

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

Worcester, Worcester County, Massachusetts

Berlin, Berlin-Brandenburg, Germany

Waco, McLennan County, Texas

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: White

Education: College, Graduate school

Occupations: Teacher; Professor of Education, Baylor University and University of Texas at Austin

Original Recording Location: Box 6, Disc 17, Side 1; Side 2, Track 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Andrew English

TELL ID: 0472

Creator: Carmelita Klipple

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Carmelita Klipple

Date: 1940

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Spicewood, Burnet County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 9, Disc 16, Side 2, Track 5

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: John Henry Faulk

TELL ID: 0304

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: 1940-1942

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: 26-29

Race: White

Education: College, Graduate school

Occupations: Folklorist, Storyteller, Teacher

Original Recording Location: Box 7, Disc 8, Side 1, Track 4

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: John P. Fuchs

TELL ID: 0432

Creator: Fred Eikel, Jr.

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

New Braunfels, Comal County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: White

Education: Some schooling

Occupations: Teacher

Original Recording Location: Box 9, Disc 9, Side 1, Track 4

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: K. Ganz

TELL ID: 0074

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

United States

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 2, Disc 14, Side 2, Track 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Rosalyn Gardner

TELL ID: 0008 [Story], 0009 [Biographical]

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 1, Disc 5, Side 1, Track 3

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: These files are noise-reduced files. To hear the originals, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Gloria Vivian Guice

TELL ID: 0167

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Navasota, Grimes County, Texas

Prairie View, Waller County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Black

Education: College

Occupations: College student

Original Recording Location: Box 4, Disc 9, Side 1, Track 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Muriel Hixson

TELL ID: 0094

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Dallas, Dallas County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Black

Education: High school (Booker T. Washington High School)

Occupations: Student

Original Recording Location: Box 2, Disc 19, Side 2, Track 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0035. To hear this file, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Cleotus B. Holloway

TELL ID: 0033

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Normandy, Maverick County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Black

Education: College

Occupations: College student

Original Recording Location: Box 1, Disc 15, Side 1, Track 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0092. To hear this file, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Alice Homburger, Tinka Homburger

TELL ID: 0526 [Tinka Homburger begins at 4:22]

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

United States

Sex: Female (both speakers)

Age: Under 18 (both speakers)

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 9, Disc 32, Side 1, Track 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Marian Homburger, Nedaline V. M. Willard

TELL ID: 0528 [Nedaline V. M. Willard begins at 3:15]

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Marian Homburger: United States

Nedaline V. M. Willard:

New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut

Wellesley, Norfolk County, Massachusetts

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Female (both speakers)

Age:

Marian Homburger: Unknown

Nedaline V. M. Willard: Under 18

Race:

Marian Homburger: Unknown

Nedaline V. M. Willard: White

Education:

Marian Homburger: Unknown

Nedaline V. M. Willard: Some schooling

Occupations:

Marian Homburger: Unknown

Nedaline V. M. Willard: Student (Daughter of Rudolph Willard)

Original Recording Location: Box 9, Disc 32, Side 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: J. T. Hutchinson

TELL ID: 0067

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: 1938-1939

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Red River County, Texas

Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas

Central Texas

East Texas

New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Sex: Male

Age: 58

Race: Unknown

Education: High school, College, Medical school

Occupations: Doctor

Original Recording Location: Box 2, Disc 12, Side 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0558. To hear this file, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Howard Johnson

TELL ID: 0052

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Katherine E. Wheatley

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: White

Education: College

Occupations: College student

Original Recording Location: Box 2, Disc 5, Side 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Josephine Jones

TELL ID: 0166

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Wharton, Wharton County, Texas

Prairie View, Waller County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Black

Education: College

Occupations: College student

Original Recording Location: Box 4, Disc 9, Side 1, Track 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Robert Kauf

TELL ID: 0053

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date: February 6, 1942

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Vienna, Austria

England

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: 20

Race: White

Education: College

Occupations: College student

Original Recording Location: Box 2, Disc 6, Side 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0103. To hear this file, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Cecil Kelsey

TELL ID: 0014

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: 1932 or later

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Estacado, Lubbock County, Texas

Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: At least 28

Race: Unknown

Education: College

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 1, Disc 7, Side 2, Track 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0556. To hear this file, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Barbara Ketchum

TELL ID: 0101

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

United States

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 2, Disc 21, Side 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Marye Kincaide

TELL ID: 0550

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: 1938

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Lubbock County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 10, Disc 1, Side 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Dr. Law

TELL ID: 0250

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: 1941

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

United States

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: College, Graduate school

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 6, Disc 12, Side 2, Track 6

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Marjorie Ann Martin

TELL ID: 0551

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: 1938

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: 13

Race: Unknown

Education: Some schooling (Junior high, 8th grade)

Occupations: Student

Original Recording Location: Box 10, Disc 1, Side 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0090 (partial). To hear this file, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Mr. McDonald

TELL ID: 0275

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

United States

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 6, Disc 22, Side 2, Track 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Townsend Miller

TELL ID: 0268

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: April 8, 1941

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: 22

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Writer

Original Recording Location: Box 6, Disc 19, Side 1, Track 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Mary Moore

TELL ID: 0044

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

County Mayo, Connacht, Ireland

County Sligo, Connacht, Ireland

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

Western United States

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: White

Education: Some schooling, Convent education

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 2, Disc 1, Side 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: R. Moss

TELL ID: 0073

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Unknown

Sex: Unknown

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 2, Disc 14, Side 2, Track 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Olivia Dancy Nolte

TELL ID: 0062

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Katherine E. Wheatley

Date: 1941

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

La Grange, Fayette County, Texas

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Seguin, Guadalupe County, Texas

San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Convent education, High school, College

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 2, Disc 10, Side 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Dewitt Talmadge Oaks

TELL ID: 0141 [Story], 0142 [Biographical]

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard, Katherine E. Wheatley

Date: 1937 or later

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

New Albany, Union County, Mississippi

Muscle Shoals, Colbert County, Alabama

Oxford, Lafayette County, Mississippi

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: College, Graduate school

Occupations: Worked on Muscle Shoals dam; Electrician's assistant; Carpenter; Farmer; Teacher; Graduate student; Teaching assistant

Original Recording Location: Box 3, Disc 12

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0027 (duplicate), 0028 (partial). To hear these files, please contact TELL.

Speaker: P. B. Penney

TELL ID: 0068

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: 1939

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Georgia

Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas

Independence, Washington County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: 69

Race: Unknown

Education: College

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 2, Disc 12, Side 2, Track 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0557. To hear this file, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Charles E. Pettee

TELL ID: 0519

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: 1941

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

United States

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 9, Disc 30, Side 2, Track 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Edward Pipkins

TELL ID: 0168

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Katherine E. Wheatley

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Ferris, Dallas or Ellis County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Black

Education: High school or College

Occupations: Student

Original Recording Location: Box 4, Disc 9, Side 1, Track 3

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Mattie J. Poole

TELL ID: 0514

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date: January 1, 1941

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: 56-57

Race: White

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown (Aunt of Rudolph Willard)

Original Recording Location: Box 9, Disc 29, Side 1, Track 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: George Rayburn

TELL ID: 0264 [Story begins at 1:25]

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 6, Disc 17, Side 2, Track 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Bess Lora Rayford

TELL ID: 0440 [Story], 0441 [Biographical]

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date: 1937-1938

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Henderson, Rusk County, Texas

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: 18-19

Race: Unknown

Education: College

Occupations: College student

Original Recording Location: Box 9, Disc 11, Side 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Mrs. P. Robertson

TELL ID: 0133

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Katherine E. Wheatley

Date: 1939

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

United States

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 3, Disc 8, Side 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Rev. Liff Sanders

TELL ID: 0554

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Jacksboro, Jack County, Texas

Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas

Whitt, Parker County, Texas

Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee

Sex: Male

Age: 67

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Church of Christ Minister

Original Recording Location: Box 10, Disc 2, Side 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0089 (partial). To hear this file, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Mr. Scott

TELL ID: 0056

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: 1940

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Houston, Harris County, Texas

West Texas

Midwestern United States

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: High school

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 2, Disc 7, Side 2, Track 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: James Paul Singleton

TELL ID: 0473

Creator: Carmelita Klipple

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Carmelita Klipple

Date: 1940

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Spicewood, Burnet County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 9, Disc 16, Side 2, Track 6

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Sister Generose

TELL ID: 0143

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: 1941 or later

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

United States

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Nun

Original Recording Location: Box 4, Disc 1, Side 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: This file is noise-reduced. To hear the original, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Rachel D. Smith

TELL ID: 0099

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: 1940

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland

England

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: White

Education: High school (Public school in England), College

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 2, Disc 20, Side 1, Track 3

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: A. John Stafford

TELL ID: 0085

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Unknown

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Florida

Tennessee

Mississippi

Maryland

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: English teacher

Original Recording Location: Box 2, Disc 17, Side 1, Track 4

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Marion Lopkin Stiles

TELL ID: 0151

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Unknown, Rudolph Willard

Date: Before 1942

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Waxahachie, Ellis County, Texas

Michigan

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: College

Occupations: Teacher, Trinity University

Original Recording Location: Box 4, Disc 5, Side 2, Track 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Thomas Sutherland

TELL ID: 0001

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Uvalde, Uvalde County, Texas

Bell County, Texas

Mexico

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: White

Education: College, Graduate school

Occupations: Military language officer; Teacher

Original Recording Location: Box 1, Disc 1, Side 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None


Speaker: Billy Tucker

TELL ID: 0559

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Lubbock County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 10, Disc 5, Side 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Hal Tucker

TELL ID: 0447

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Katherine E. Wheatley

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

San Augustine, San Augustine County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location:

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0446 (partial). To hear this file, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Catherine Vineyard

TELL ID: 0152

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Unknown

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

East Texas

Dallas, Dallas County, Texas

Mississippi

Helena, Phillips County, Arkansas

Tennessee

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Unknown

Education: Unknown

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 4, Disc 5, Side 2, Track 3

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Fred Watson

TELL ID: 0034

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Prairie View, Waller County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: Unknown

Race: Black

Education: College

Occupations: College student

Original Recording Location: Box 1, Disc 15, Side 1, Track 3

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0093. To hear this file, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Harriett Francis Wheatley

TELL ID: 0016 [Story], 0017 [Biographical]

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Katherine E. Wheatley, Rudolph Willard

Date: 1941

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: Restricted; please contact TELL for information.

Race: White

Education: Some schooling

Occupations: Unknown (Mother of Katherine E. Wheatley)

Original Recording Location: Box 1, Disc 8, Side 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None. These files are restricted to use for research purposes only. To hear these files, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Margaret H. Willard

TELL ID: 0501 [Story starts at 2:48], 0502

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date: March 1940

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Madison, New Haven County, Connecticut

Wellesley, Norfolk County, Massachusetts

England

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: White

Education: College

Occupations: Unknown (Wife of Rudolph Willard)

Original Recording Location: Box 9, Disc 27

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Margy Willard

TELL ID: 0515

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: January 1, 1941

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut

Wellesley, Norfolk County, Massachusetts

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: 12-13

Race: White

Education: Some schooling

Occupations: Student (Daughter of Rudolph Willard)

Original Recording Location: Box 9, Disc 29, Side 1, Track 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Mary Willard

TELL ID: 0516

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date: January 1, 1941

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut

Wellesley, Norfolk County, Massachusetts

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: 16-17

Race: White

Education: Some schooling

Occupations: Student (Daughter of Rudolph Willard)

Original Recording Location: Box 9, Disc 29, Side 2, Track 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Nedaline V. M. Willard

TELL ID: 0517, 0528 [Nedaline V. M. Willard begins at 3:15]

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date:

0517: January 1, 1941

0528: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut

Wellesley, Norfolk County, Massachusetts

Austin, Texas, United States

Sex: Female

Age:

0517: 8-9

0528: Unknown

Race: White

Education: Some schooling

Occupations: Student (Daughter of Rudolph Willard)

Original Recording Location:

0517: Box 9, Disc 29, Side 2, Track 2

0528: Box 9, Disc 32, Side 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: None

Speaker: Rudolph Willard

TELL ID: 0135

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: Rudolph Willard

Date: October 15, 1939

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Sofia, Bulgaria

Oberlin, Lorain County, Ohio

Coldspring, San Jacinto County, Texas

New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut

France

Wellesley, Norfolk County, Massachusetts

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Sex: Male

Age: 47

Race: White

Education: College, Graduate school

Occupations: Salesman; Teacher; Principal; Superintendent; Assistant Professor of English, Yale University; Visiting Professor of English, Wellesley College; Professor of English, University of Texas at Austin

Original Recording Location: Box 3, Disc 9, Side 2

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0245 (partial). To hear this file, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Robin Wilson

TELL ID: 0032

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: Unknown

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

Prairie View, Waller County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: Unknown

Race: Black

Education: College

Occupations: College student

Original Recording Location: Box 1, Disc 15, Side 1, Track 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0091. To hear this file, please contact TELL.

Speaker: Mrs. G. C. Wolfbarth

TELL ID: 0007

Creator: Rudolph Willard

Interviewers Heard on Recording: None

Date: 1938 or later

Language: English

Dialectal Influences:

West Elkton, Preble County, Ohio

Estacado, Lubbock County, Texas

Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas

Sex: Female

Age: At least 54

Race: Unknown

Education: Some schooling

Occupations: Unknown

Original Recording Location: Box 1, Disc 4, Side 1

Additional Files with Duplicate Content: 0555. To hear this file, please contact TELL.

Sources:


How a Rat's Tale Helped Dialect Research - The National Museum of Language. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://languagemuseum.org/arthur-the-rat/
MacMahon, M. K. C. (1991). The woman behind 'Arthur'. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 21(1), 29-31. doi:10.1017/S0025100300005983
Sellon, G. (1876). I don't know. In The Man's Boot, and Other Tales: or, Fabulous Truths in Words of One Syllable (52-55). London: Wertheimer, Lea, and Co.
Image Credit: "Rat Animal Mammal." Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/vectors/rat-animal-mammal-mouse-pest-pet-312046/