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Romance Languages

Multilingualism and Language Acquisition

Edited By Anna Gudmundson, Laura Álvarez López and Camilla Bardel

This volume contains a collection of papers that deal with Romance linguistics from two broad perspectives: multilingualism and language acquisition. Some of the contributions investigate these phenomena in the light of language contact, language attitudes and code switching in multilingual societies or multilingual families. Others focus on the acquisition of rhythmic patterns, intonation or even emotions in a second language. Many of the contributions present themes related to oral production or speech. The book in itself is multilingual and includes papers written in Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and English.

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LIPS: Creating a Learner Corpus (Francesca Gallina)


Francesca Gallina

LIPS: Creating a Learner Corpus

Abstract: LIPS is a corpus of spoken data, drawn from the proficiency exams of the Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language. This paper discusses criteria for creating a corpus of non-native speakers’ data aimed to be comparable to native speakers’ data, the methods used to transcribe and to annotate non-native speech, and the lexical methods of analysis that can be applied to both kinds of data.

1. The research framework

The Lexicon of Spoken Italian by Foreigners (LIPS) is a corpus of spoken data, drawn from the proficiency exams of the Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language (CILS) at the University for Foreigners of Siena1. It was created mainly for lexical analyses of spoken Italian of non-native speakers (NNSs) and for comparisons with similar, already existing corpora of the spoken Italian of native speakers (NSs), such as the Lessico di frequenza dell’Italiano Parlato – LIP (De Mauro et al., 1993)2. The basic idea with creating the LIPS was to enable the comparison of the most frequently used vocabulary by NNSs with that of NSs. The more specific aims include scrutinizing the vocabulary shared by both groups, studying differences in the frequency of use of lexical units and investigating how great the impact of the lexical input (which is supposed to be constituted by the vocabulary used by NSs) may be on the process of learning Italian as a second...

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