Learner corpora and prosody: From the COREIL corpus to principles on data collection and corpus design
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Studies in L2 intonation and phrasal phonology are interesting not only to understand how second languages (L2) are acquired, but also to get better insights into the phonology of the target language itself. Indeed, clear descriptions are still missing for many intonational and phrasal phenomena; and analysing the speech production of L2 learners may help in analyzing phenomena that have remained unnoticed up to now (e.g. grammatical and prosodic constraints that operate in case of self-repairs, and phonological status of some prosodic events). We propose a close look at a well-designed corpus, as an introduction to this research perspective. The aim of the present contribution is twofold: (i) to present the COREIL corpus, an electronic oral learner corpus that has been designed to study the acquisition of phrasal phonology and intonation in French and English as a foreign language; (ii) to explain the principles used to collect and annotate the data. The data collection protocol is developed to be as modular as possible: for instance, it can be used to gather data produced by children as well as by adults. The protocol is intended as an easy-to-use tool that can be modified by the research community. It allows for a comparison of acquisition processes along several dimensions (L1 vs. L2, differences among L1 learners, etc).
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