Bilingual PhonBLA Corpus

Bilingual PhonBLA Corpus

Conxita Lleó
Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences
University of Hamburg


Participants: 7
Type of Study: naturalistic
Location: Germany
Media type: audio
DOI: doi:10.21415/T5BG81

only available through special arrangements

Citation information

Lleó, C., I. Kuchenbrandt, M. Kehoe & C. Trujillo (2003). Syllable final consonants in Spanish and German monolingual and bilingual acquisition. In N. Müller (ed.), (In)vulnerable Domains in Multilingualism, 191-220. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Kehoe, M., C. Lleó & M. Rakow (2004). Voice Onset Time in Bilingual German-Spanish Children. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 7, 71-88.

Lleó, C., M. Rakow & M. Kehoe (2004). Acquisition of language-specific pitch accent by Spanish and German monolingual and bilingual children. In T. Face (ed.), Laboratory Approaches to Spanish Phonology, 3-27. Berlin, New York: Mouton.

Lleó, C. & M. Rakow (2005). Markedness Effects in Voiced Stop Spirantization in Bilingual German-Spanish Children. In J. Cohen, K.T. McAlister, K. Rolstad, and J. MacSwan (eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB4), pp. 1353-1371. CD Rom: Cascadilla Press.

Kehoe, M., C. Lleó & M. Rakow (2011). Speech rhythm in the pronunciation of German and Spanish monolingual and German-Spanish bilingual 3-year-olds. Linguistische Berichte 227, 323-351.

Lleó, C. & M. Rakow (2011). Intonation targets of yes/no questions by Spanish and German monolingual and bilingual 2;0- and 3;-year-olds. In E. Rinke & T. Kupisch (eds.), The Development of Grammar: Language Acquisition and Diachronic Change. Volume in Honor of Jürgen M. Meisel. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Lleó, C. (2012). Monolingual and bilingual phonoprosodic corpora of child German and child Spanish. In Thomas Schmidt & Kai Wörner (eds.) Multilingual Corpora and Multilingual Corpus Analysis. Hamburger Studies on Multilingualism 14, 107-122. John Benjamins.

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

Project Code-name German Span Spanish Span
PEDSESIrene0;10.03 – 2;09.020;10.05 – 2;09.12
PEDSESRoberto1;01.06 – 2;04.201;01.16 – 2;04.20
PEDSESStefan1;02.08 – 3;00.241;02.08 – 3;00.17
B3/E3Jens1;02.07 – 6;09.021;02.07 – 7;10.10
B3/E3Manuel1;02.07 – 5;10.151;03.08 – 6;08.15
B3/E3Nils1;03.04 – 7;06.211;04.21 – 7;09.27
B3/E3Simon1;01.14 – 5;10.011;01.14 – 5;10.22

From 1986 to 1988 the PEDSES project (Phonological acquisition of German and Spanish as first language(s)) collected data from three German-Spanish bilingual children: Irene, Roberto, and Stefan. The focus of the project was on phonological bilingual acquisition. The PEDSES project was supported by the DFG during two years. The main goal of the project was to investigate the phonological component(s) developed by bilingual children. The two languages being acquired by the bilingual children were German and Spanish. More concretely, the goal of the project was to find out how many words were produced by bilingual children in their two languages; furthermore, to find out whether bilingual children used the same words in the two languages or whether the lexicons were complementary. We also wanted to know what form these words had, and whether phonological reduction processes applied in both languages in the same fashion. Segmental phonology was the focus of attention of most phonological acquisition research at the time, and thus we defined as a further goal to establish the order of acquisition of sounds and the development of the sound systems in the two languages. Studies on the acquisition of bilingual phonology were not abundant at the time, and it was common in the field to consider that bilingual children began developing one single phonological system at first, which was later on divided into two systems. Thus, the ultimate goal of our project was initially defined as trying to find out whether the bilingual child began with one or two phonological components.

The three bilingual children were recorded every two to three weeks at their homes by two different teams, a German and a Spanish speaking team. Data were collected in a spontaneous fashion, while playing with the child, asking questions, showing pictures, etc. The three children had German fathers, who spoke the North variety of German. Irene’s mother was a Spaniard, and spoke Spanish from the Castilian variety. The two boys had a Mexican mother, who spoke the Mexican variety of Spanish.

The B3/E3 bilingual project Prosodic constraints to the phonological and morphological development in bilingual language acquisition was launched in 1999, within the Collaborative Research Centre on Multilingualism (SFB 538) at the University of Hamburg (Germany), first as project B3 (until 2002) and as project E3 thereafter (until 2011). This project had as its goal to record and describe the acquisition of morphology, phonology and phonetics, including segmental phonology as well as prosody by children simultaneously exposed from birth to the two languages, German and Spanish. The project set out to find out whether the two languages of the bilingual child develop independently or whether they interact. In case there is interaction, the more vulnerable language areas should be identified. Four children have been recorded in Hamburg, from very early on, until about age 7;0: Jens, Manuel, Nils and Simon. These children have a German-speaking father and a Spanish-speaking mother. The children were visited every two weeks at first, and later on once a month. Children were recorded at their homes by two different research teams, a German- and a Spanish-speaking team, each comprised of two research assistants, who were native speakers of the corresponding language. At first, the mother used to be present in the Spanish-speaking sessions, but later on, we made most of the recordings with the child alone interacting with one research assistant. We tried to record the child under spontaneous conditions, playing, chatting, etc. We also brought some objects (little animals and other toys) in order to elicit certain words from all children, making the phonetic and phonological characteristics of their productions comparable. The mother tried to keep a record of words that were new in the child’s vocabularies, and we tried to elicit them, as well. We also used books with pictures, which belonged to the child and others that we brought. The recordings were both video and audio recordings. Between 2004 and 2007 further recordings were conducted in Madrid, both of monolingual Spanish children and German-Spanish bilingual children. The bilingual children living in Madrid have a German-speaking mother, i.e. they are the mirror image of the bilinguals growing up in Hamburg. The adults’ data have been orthographically transcribed and the children’s data have been phonetically transcribed.

Researchers interested in using the PEDSES and PhonBLA data should send a copy of their publication based on the data to the contributor of the data (