BSF Corpus

Ruth Berman
Department of Linguistics
Tel Aviv University


Participants: 100
Type of Study: naturalistic
Location: Israel
Media type: no longer available
DOI: doi:10.21415/T5F01G

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Citation information

Publications using these data should cite:

Berman, R. (1985). The acquisition of Hebrew. In D. I. Slobin (Ed.), The crosslinguistic study of language acquisition, pp. 255-372. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Berman, R., & Dromi, E. (1984). On marking time without aspect in child language. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, 23, 23–32.

In accordance with TalkBank rules, any use of data from this corpus must be accompanied by at least one of the above references.

Project Description

The materials in this Hebrew data set were gathered during the first phase of a crosslinguistic project on the development of tense-aspect funded by a grant from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) awarded to Ruth A. Berman, Tel Aviv University as principal investigator and Dan I. Slobin, University of California, Berkeley, for three years starting in September 1982. The first undertaking of this study was to collect as much as possible in the form of naturalistic speech samples for Hebrew preschool children. This was done in some cases by recordings and transcriptions carried out by members of the project team (native speakers of Hebrew majoring in linguistics, including Inbal Gozes, Galia Hatab, Yona Neeman, and Ziva Wijler); in others by typing up transcriptions of students doing seminar and other research papers under the aegis of Dr. Esther Dromi of the School of Education and Dr. Anita Rom of the School of Communications Disorders at Tel Aviv University; and in yet others by materials collected in the course of work on graduate theses by students of Ruth Berman, including Dafna Kaplan, Shoshana Rabinowitch, and Batya Zur. Around 160 transcripts varying from under 50 to over 500 utterances in length were collected and typed up in this way. The ones that allowed for this were then optically scanned and reformatted at CMU for entry on CHILDES, whereas the rest were entered onto an IBM-clone PC computer at Tel Aviv University according to the current CHAT format. The data are without English glosses.

All this material was then reviewed and checked by Ruth Berman (when on sabbatical at Berkeley in 1985 and 1986), and 100 of the best, most reliable transcripts were selected for inclusion in CHILDES, providing a data-set of approximately 100 individual transcripts for each year.

The children all came from middle-class homes and were monolingual Hebrew speakers whose parents were in most cases also native speakers of Hebrew. They come mainly from metropolitan Tel Aviv and its environs, and are from urban and rural backgrounds, where “rural” refers to children who are raised on the communal settlements (kibbutzim) or in the cooperative villages (moshavim) which constitute part of the middle- to upper-middle-class stratum of Israeli society.

Table 1: BSF — Ages 1;6 to 1;11
alita18.chaM. HirschINV280+problematic
gadi111.chaE. Dromi studentINV350few combinations
keren11.chaE. DromiMOT60early one-word
keren13.chaE. DromiMOT150rich one-word
keren15.chaE. DromiMOT120few combinations
*liro111.chaA. Rom studentFAT125basic syntax
mixal16.chaE. Dromi studentINV109combinations
noa111.chaA. Rom studentINV132some syntax
ran19.chaE. Dromi studentINV63few combinations
uris11.chaY. StrassbergCHI48mainly one-word
uris12.chaY. StrassbergCHI15several strings
yifat11.chaE. Dromi w/motherINV300+mainly input
yifat14.chaE. Dromi studentINV56
yifat16.chaE. Dromi studentINV108mainly one-word

Table 2: BSF — Ages 2;0 to 2;11
adi26.chaD. KaplanINV198
asaf26.chaA. Rom studentINV105
chen211.chaM. HirschINV320
eran26.engA. Rom studentINV135
hay21.chaN. ShohamMOT203
hay22.chaN. ShohamMOT225
hay24.chaN. ShohamMOT180
kobi21.chaE. Dromi studentINV203
maya29.chaA. WeissMOT-
nimro22.chaE. Dromi studentINV141
nimro23.chaE. Dromi studentINV101
ori20.chaL. DganitMOT61
ori21.chaL. DganitMOT71
ori22.chaL. DganitMOT186
ori23.chaL. DganitMOT60
ori24.chaL. DganitMOT72
roi23.chaA. Rom studentINV129
ronit20.chaB. ZurCHI61
sharo20.chaA. Rom studentINV80
tomer27.chaM. HirschINV-
urik25.chaD. KaplanMOT112
urik26.chaD. KaplanMOT86
urik211.chaD. KaplanMOT-
yahel23.chaA. Rom studentINV75
zohar26.temZ. WijlerINV72
tomer27.chaM. HirschINV265
maya29.chaA. Rom studentINV242
urik211.chaD. KaplanMOT220
yael211.chaZ. WijlerMOT90
zohar26.chaZ. WijlerINV-

Table 3: BSF — Ages 3;0 to 3;11
amit30.chaB. Zur50
avi36.chaB. Zur31
aviad31.chaMirit / Rom153
boy36.chaSara / Rom102
chen31.chaM. Hirsch253
dani311.chaA. Rom46
debby35.chaS. Rabin
dotan31.chaS. Rabinowich103
guy311.chaZ. Wijler239
inbar36.chaD. Kaplan78
keren36.chaS. Rabinowitz128
limor311.chM. Hirsch159
limor40.chaM. Hirsch78
*mayan39.chaY. Neeman204
merav38.chaG. Hatab582
mixal33.chaB. Zur52
mor310.chaM. Hirsch265
*mor311.chaM. Hirsch100
moti311.chaB. Zur50
rafi211.engD. Kaplan157
rafi30.chaD. Kaplan198
ravit38.chaB. Zur49
reut32.chaM. Hirsch208
shlom36.chaD. Kaplan323
yael32.chaS. Rabinowich80
yotam30.chaSmadar / Rom151

Table 4: BSF — Ages 4;1 to 4;11
adi43.chaS. Rabinowitz67long narratives
adit41.chaA. Rom32
arel42.chaA. Rom11 +18
avi47.engA. Rom32
barux42.chaA. Rom21
dana41.chaS. Rabinowitz83
dudi41.chaA. Rom19
elad43.chaA. Rom26long utterances
eran43.chaI. Gozes275
girl46.chaB. Zur45some narrative
ido46.chaS. Rabinowitz104
keren44.chaB. Zur43
or411.chaZ. Wijler330long utterances
oren410.chaB. Josman15
oshra41.chaA. Rom43
saa47.chaA. Rom
shar411.chaA. Rom32
shay410.chaA. Rom37
tali46.chaB. Josman190
yaron42.chaA. Rom28
yifat42.chaB. Zur40narrative
yoni44.chaS. Rabinowitz123
yonit45.chaB. Josman178
ziv41.chaB. Zur45narrative

Table 5: BSF — Ages 5;0 to 5;11
amnon53.chaS. Rabinowitz168plus narratives
*ari56.chaS. Rabinowitz65
aron511.chaA. Rom23picture description
asaf51.chaS. Rabinowitz88
ben51.chaS. Rabinowitz79
david55.chaB. Josman15story retelling
elad56.chaB. Josman15story retelling
gil52.chaA. Rom29long utterances
gilad54.chaB. Zur42stilted
girl52.chaB. Zur31narratives
idit58.chaA. Rom19picture description
*keren50.chaG. Hatab160
*oren52.chaB. Josman15long utterances
shar510.chaA. Rom29
tal54.chaA. Rom29long utterances
yifat54.chaB. Zur32narratives
*yonat56.chaB. Josman23part narrative

* Files marked with asterisks have English glosses for the Hebrew.