CHILDES English Higginson Corpus

Roy Higginson (1947-2006)
Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences
Iowa State University

Participants: 3
Type of Study: naturalistic
Location: USA
Media type: not available
DOI: doi:10.21415/T5S31M

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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 corpus contains 21 files, recorded in 1983 and 1984. The files are named according to the date they were recorded. All of the children’s utterances are coded phonetically on the %pho tier and lexically on the main tier.

The goals of the project were to examine the earliest stages of language development and to investigate the processes that children use to establish their lexica. Data was collected by making audio and video recordings of children in natural, unstructured play sessions in their homes. Each recording session was approximately 45 minutes long. First draft transcriptions were made from the video recordings by the researcher and these were then checked against the audio recordings to verify the transcripts. Phonetic transcriptions of the children’s utterances were then prepared from the audio recordings and inserted into the transcripts at the appropriate places.

April was born April 22, 1981. She was studied between ages 1;10 and 2;11. She was the only child of an undergraduate student. Her mother and father were divorced; she lived with her mother at the university. Her mother was a native English speaker. There are 3.15 hours of natural observations in the participant’s home.

May was born March 14, 1982. She was 0;11 at the beginning of the study. She was the only child of graduate students. Her mother was well on in her second pregnancy. Both parents were native English speakers. They were both graduate students working on masters’ degrees. There are 1.75 hours of natural observations in the participant’s home. File
AgeFile AgeFile AgeFileAge

June was born August 16, 1982. She was 1;3 at the beginning of the study and 1;9 at the end. She was the only child of graduate students. Both her mother and father were native English speakers. There are 12 hours of natural observations in the participant’s home, which is in university accommodations

A computerized version of a modified IPA is used throughout the transcriptions. Wherever possible the standard character has been used to represent the modified IPA symbol. Exceptions to this are:

Aspiration of voiceless stops is assumed and, therefore, not included in normal tran-scription. When the expected aspiration is absent it is noted on the %com tier. When the aspiration is unusually heavy it is marked in the transcription by C(h). Stress is only com-mented upon when it deviates from the normal English stress pattern. Information about stress, pitch, and intonation appears on the %com tier. Throughout the phonetic transcrip-tions, indecipherable segments are shown as dashes.


The project was funded in part by the Department of Anthropology at Washington State University, in part by the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, and in part from private funds of the researcher.