Brown Corpus

Brown Corpus


Roger Brown (1925-1997)
Psychology and Social Relations
Harvard University
website

Participants: 3
Type of Study: naturalistic
Location: USA
Media type: no longer available
DOI: doi:10.21415/T5HK5G

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Citation information

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

This subdirectory contains the complete transcripts from the three participants Adam, Eve, and Sarah who were studied by Roger Brown and his students between 1962 and 1966. Adam was studied from 2;3 to 4;10, Eve from 1;6 to 2;3, and Sarah from 2;3 to 5;1. Brown (1973) summarized this research and provided detailed documentation regarding data collection, transcription, and analysis.

The corpus was scanned optically from the original typed sheets and then reformatted by program and extensively checked by hand. In addition to basic CHAT coding, the child’s speech in the Adam and Eve corpora has also been coded for these five speech acts:

Adam was the child of a minister and an elementary school teacher. His family was middle class and well educated. Though he was Black, he was not a speaker of American Black English, but of Standard American. There are 55 files in the Adam corpus and his age ranges from 2;3 to 5;2. Also included in the corpus is a file called “00lexicon.cdc” which contains some nonstandard lexical items that were used or invented by Adam. The transcriptions consistently record the fact that all three of the children tended to use reduce initial “th” to “d”. To deal with this, we have allowed for the inclusion in the lexicon of “de,” “dat,” “dose,” “dese,” and “dem.”
File Age File Age File Age File Age
012;03.04152;10.02293;04.18434;01.15
022;03.18162;10.16303;05.01444;02.17
032;04.03172;10.30313;05.15454;03.09
042;04.15182;11.1332 3;05.29464;04.01
052;04.30192;11.28333;06.09474;04.13
062;05.12203;00.11343;07.07484;05.11
072;06.03213;00.25353;08.01494;06.24
082;06.17223;01.09363;08.14504;07.01
092;07.01233;01.26373;08.26514;07.29
102;07.14243;02.09383;09.16524;09.02
112;08.01253;02.21393;10.15534;10.02
122;08.16263;03.04403;11.01544;10.23
132;09.04273;03.18413;11.14555;02.12
142;09.18283;04.01424;00.14

Eve was a linguistically precocious child. Unfortunately for the study, her family moved away from the Cambridge area after only 20 sessions were completed. Her speech developed very rapidly over these 9 months. In spite of the small amount of data, her record is especially rich. She began the study when she was 1;6 and left the study when she was 2;3. Included with the Eve data are two files, “00lexicon.cdc” and “00proper.cdc”. The 00lexicon.cdc outlines nonstandard lexical items and the 00proper.cdc file shows the proper nouns used by Eve. The transcripts consistently note that Eve pronounced both “have to” and “have a” as “habba”. Eve’s approximate ages in each of the 20 files are as follows:
File Age File Age File Age File Age
011;6061;9111;11162;1
021;6071;9121;11172;2
031;7081;9131;12182;2
041;7091;10142;0192;3
051;8101;10152;1202;3

Sarah was the child of a working class family. There are 139 files in the Sarah corpus covering the ages 2;3 to 5;1. There is also a “00lexicon.cdc” file outlining nonstandard lex-ical items used by Sarah. Sarah’s approximate ages for each of the 139 files are as follows:
File Age File Age File Age File Age
0012;3.50362;11.20713;7.301064;4.25
0022;3.70372;11.170723;8.61074;5.4
0032;3.190382;11.230733;8.121084;5.8
0042;3.220392;11.300743;8.201094;5.14
0052;3.260403;0.180753;8.271104;5.22
0062;3.280413;0.180763;9.31114;5.29
0072;4.100423;0.270773;9.181124;6.5
0082;4.120433;1.30783;9.261134;6.11
0092;4.170443;1.100793;9.261144;6.17
0102;4.190453;1.170803;10.11154;6.24
0112;4.260463;1.240813;10.91164;7.0
0122;5.70473;2.20823;10.161174;7.11
0132;5.150483;2.100833;10.301184;7.17
0142;5.250493;2.160843;11.91194;7.24
0152;5.300503;2.230853;11.161204;8.7
0162;6.40513;3.70863;11.291214;8.13
0172;6.130523;3.70874;0.51224;8.20
0182;6.200533;3.130884;0.141234;9.4
0192;6.300543;3.200894;0.281244;9.12
0202;7.50553;3.280904;1.41254;9.19
0212;7.120563;4.10914;1.111264;9.26
0222;7.180573;4.90924;1.181274;10.6
0232;7.280583;4.160934;1.281284;10.21
0242;8.20593;4.260944;2.11294;10.27
0252;8.250603;5.10954;2.91304;11.4
0262;8.250613;5.70964;2.161314;11.13
0272;9.00623;5.130974;2.231324;11.19
0282;9.60633;5.200984;2.281334;11.26
0292;9.140643;6.60994;3.71345;0.2
0302;9.200653;6.161004;3.131355;0.10
0312;9.290663;6.231014;3.191365;0.16
0322;10.50673;6.301024;3.261375;0.25
0332;10.11683;7.91034;4.11385;0.30
0342;10.20693;7.161044;4.111395;1.6
0352;10.24703;7.231054;4.18