Nijmegen Corpus of Spanish English

Corpus collection

The corpus was recorded in April and May 2012 in the laboratory of the Grupo de Tecnología del Habla at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de Telecomunicación of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

A detailed description of the corpus collection is provided in:

  • Kouwenhoven, H., M. Ernestus & M. van Mulken (accepted). Register variation by Spanish users of English. The Nijmegen Corpus of Spanish English. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory.

Students of the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de Telecomunicación and other Madrid universities were recruited via e-mail. This message was entirely in Spanish, as was all communication with all Spanish participants prior to their arrival at the recording day. Since the students were unaware that the recordings would be in English, self-selection was avoided as much as possible. Thirty-four Spanish students replied to our invitation to participate in a research project. The two Dutch speakers in the corpus were recruited at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. They were both active in a student theater group and therefore confident in role playing.

In the informal recordings, casual speech was elicited between the Spanish student and the Dutch confederate of the same sex. The Spanish student was unaware that the Dutch speaker was a confederate. There were two parts in the informal recordings. In the first part the speakers were asked to get to know each other and talk about any topic they liked, while the researcher was out of the room to get the task they would be performing. Once the speakers ran out of conversation topics, the researcher went back into the recording room with a name-guessing game, which formed the second part of the informal recordings.

The formal speech was elicited during an interview about Spanish politics and the economic crisis in Spain. The Spanish speaker was interviewed by the Dutch confederate of the opposite sex, who was introduced as a colleague of the researcher in a journalism master's thesis project. Both speakers wore formal clothing and a video camera was overtly present.