cl-195-pap-COLA.doc - COLA A Spanish spoken corpus of youth...

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COLA: A Spanish spoken corpus of youth language Knut Hofland Aksis/UNIFOB University of Bergen [email protected] Annette Myre Jørgensen Department of Romance Languages University of Bergen [email protected] Eli-Marie Drange Department of Romance Languages University of Bergen [email protected] Anna-Brita Stenström Prof. emeritus [email protected] Abstract In this paper we describe the COLA corpus. We give an overview of the contents and how the recording and transcription was done. We describe how a web-based system with access to sound is used for browsing and searching. In the end we give a summary of current research on the material. 1. Introduction The aim of the COLA Corpus (Corpus Oral de Lenguaje Adolescente) is to build a corpus of informal Spanish youth language from Madrid and other capitals of Spanish speaking countries and to stimulate to research on youth language. The project started in 2002 by the initiative from Annette Myre Jørgensen at the Department of Romance languages at the University of Bergen and Anna-Brita Stenström at Department of English, and it is funded by the Faculty of Arts at the University of Bergen and the Meltzer fund. The method used for recording the data follows the same pattern as the COLT Corpus of English adolescents and the UNO Corpus of Norwegian adolescents, which in turn is patterned on the Longman model used for collecting the British National Corpus (BNC) (Haslerud 1995:235; Crowdy 1995). The recruits were selected from schools in areas with different social status in order to create a balanced corpus with regards to gender, type of school and social status. The recruits are also between 13-18 years old. Each recruit was then equipped with a Minidisc recorder and a microphone, and asked to record his or her conversations with friends and at school for a few days. Some of the conversations are recorded at school, in breaks or during teamwork, and some of the conversations are recorded at home or at places where adolescents use to meet, as parks and so on. The recruits filled in a questionnaire with some personal information as place of birth, language spoken at home, etc, and they were also requested to write down some information about the other participants in their conversations.
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This method is very useful to record informal conversations, and you avoid the “observer’s paradox” mentioned by William Labov: “to find out how people talk when they are not being systematically observed; yet we can only obtain these data by systematic observation” (Labov 1972:209). The different topics of discussion and the casual way of speech support the idea that the participants in the conversations do not care about the presence of the microphone.
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  • Spring '14

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