CHILDES Spanish Montes Corpus

Rosa Graciela Montes
Universidad Autónoma de Puebla


Participants: 1
Type of Study: longitudinal
Location: Mexico
Media type: not available
DOI: doi:10.21415/T50W2S

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Citation information

Montes, R. (1987). Secuencias de clarificación en conversaciones con niños (Morphe 3-4): Universidad Autónoma de Puebla.

Montes, R. G. (1992). Achieving understanding: Repair mechanisms in mother–child conversations. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Georgetown University.

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 data being contributed consist of transcripts of thirteen 30 to 45 minute audio recordings of a Spanish-speaking child interacting with her parents in the child’s home. The earliest recording was made when the child was 1;7.20 years of age and the last one when she was 2;11.14.

Biographical data
Koki was the first child of a middle-class professional couple. Both parents were linguists. At the time the tapes were made the parents had research and teaching jobs in a linguistics program in Patzcuaro, Mexico. The mother was out of the house from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M. and then again from 4 to 8 every evening. The father worked mostly at home. At the time the tapes were made Koki was the only child; however, during some of the later tapes, the mother is pregnant with her second child, and reference is made to this baby in some of the tapes.

Language Background
The child, Koki, who is the researcher’s own child, was acquiring Spanish as a first language. The father is American, his native language is English and he was learning Spanish at the time that the tapes were being made. However, even when he was not fluent in the language, he usually addressed Koki in Spanish. The mother is Argentine, her native language is Spanish, but she had acquired English as a child living in various English-speaking countries. The parents spoke in English to each other but both spoke mostly in Spanish to Koki. Koki was born in Poland, where her parents were teaching. When she was 6 months old the family left Poland and went on an extended trip to Argentina where they stayed until just before Koki’s first birthday. During this time they lived with the mother’s family in a Spanish-speaking household. The family lived briefly in the States, for a period of two months (1;1 to1;3) and then moved to Patzcuaro, Michoacan, in Mexico, where the recordings were made. At the time the recordings were started they had been living in Patzcuaro for 4 months (1;7.20).

To summarize Koki’s language background: she was acquiring Spanish as a first language. Everybody in the house spoke to her in Spanish, including her father who was learning Spanish. The Spanish spoken in her surroundings was Mexican Spanish; however, the mother spoke Argentine Spanish. Koki’s Spanish seems to be mostly Mexican. In the earlier tapes there are some phonological and lexical features from Argentine Spanish. In the later tapes, there are Argentine lexical items, but Koki’s phonology is mostly Mexican. Her regular contacts with Mexican speakers included a Mexican woman who came in daily to help around the house and two little girls, slightly older, who lived down the street and with whom Koki played often.

The parents did not keep a diary record of Koki’s language development, but notes indicated that her first “words” were at around 10 months. A lexicon of her productive vocabulary drawn up on June 15, one month before the first recording, lists approximately 60 words.

Data Collection
The data were gathered with no particular purpose other than to document the development of the child’s “communicative competence.” The tape recorder was turned on during “play sessions” or daily routines (lunch, bath, and so forth.) and no attempt was made to elicit any forms or test her competence. The tape recorder was always in full view and was a big source of interest although it did not appear to inhibit the child. However, it did have some influence on the interaction because very often when the child made moves to grab the microphone or the tape recorder the mother attempted to distract her by calling attention to some other objects or would initiate some other activity. These play sessions are “naturalistic,” but they are also special child-centered situations. The adults tended to follow the child’s lead and the child, in general, is the one who proposed and initiated activities. When both parents were together they tended to each interact with the child rather than with each other. Talk between the parents were tacitly assumed to be some sort of interruption. When the tape recorder was not on the same type of activity often occurred. Thus, the recorded events were felt to be natural or typical of that type of situation. However, unrecorded play sessions were more susceptible to outside interruptions than were recorded ones.

The transcripts presented are in CHAT format. Pauses are indicated by # plus seconds and tenths of seconds in brackets. Following suggestions in the literature for conversations with young children, only pauses between utterances greater than 2 seconds were marked. The transcripts were made from audio recordings. During the recording sessions one of the parents (usually the mother) made notes about the context of utterances, concurrent actions, and so forth. However, these notes usually note major, salient actions and details are lost that often are crucial for giving a full interpretation of what went on.
k0121-JUL-19801;7.2030 mins
k0219-SEP-19801;9.1830 mins
k0326-NOV-19801;11.2530 mins
k0430-JAN-19812;1.2930 mins
k0528-FEB-19812;2.2730 mins
k0622-MAR-19812;3.2110 mins
k0719-APR-19812;4.1830 mins
k0825-MAY-19812;5.2445 mins
k0911-JUN 19812;6.1030 mins
k1011-JUL-19812;7.1030 mins
k1110-AUG-19812;8.930 mins
k1219-SEP-19812;9.1830 mins
k1315-NOV-19812;11.1445 mins

K01 and K13 are the end-points of the tapes done with this child, however there are about twenty additional tapes awaiting further transcription.

Usage restrictions

The author would appreciate receiving a citation notice of any use made of this corpus, and, if possible, a copy of the paper or article.