The Spanish Learner Language Oral Corpus (SPLLOC) is a new corpus of oral L2 Spanish built through collaboration between three UK universities (Southampton, Newcastle and York) with funding from the UK Economic and Social Research Council. The project follows successful creation of a collection of French L2 oral corpora, already available at www.flloc.soton.ac.uk. The corpus has been designed in a balanced way to fill the existing methodological gap in Spanish L2 resources. It can potentially be used by researchers working in a variety of theoretical frameworks, to explore e.g. the emergence of aspects of morphosyntax, lexical development, learners' changing use of formulaic language, and aspects of discourse development (both monologic and dialogic).
The oral corpus is also complemented by data gathered through focussed judgement and production tasks, which support a specific research agenda investigating key developmental issues at the interface between Spanish morphosyntax and discourse (acquisition of clitics, focus and word order).
The key principles underlying the corpus design are:
- Balance of spontaneous and focussed data (semi-spontaneous oral tasks are complemented by focused judgement and production tasks);
- Balance of genres (semi-spontaneous oral tasks include interview, narrative and discussion);
- Balance of participants (20 speakers from each of beginner, intermediate and advanced levels + native speaker controls);
- Flexibility of computer-aided analysis (use of the CHILDES system, plus an XML version);
- Free web access to all materials (anonymised sound files, transcripts, analysis files) for all bonafide research users.
The dataset of audio files and accompanying transcriptions in CHAT format created through the SPLLOC 1 project is now publicly available. A new project starting in August 2008 (SPLLOC 2)will make further additions to the corpus over the next 18 months.