PhonBank Japanese-English FallsChurch Corpus

Mitsuhiko Ota
School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
University of Edinburgh


Participants: 1
Type of Study: naturalistic
Location: USA
Media type: audio
DOI: doi:10.21415/T5267D

Browsable transcripts

CHAT data

Phon data

Link to media folder

Citation information

Ota, M. (1998). Minimality constraints and the prosodic structure of child Japanese. In D. Silva (Ed.), Japanese/Korean Linguistics, 8 (pp. 331-344). Stanford: CSLI Publications.

Katayama, Yuka. 2021. Bilingual Phonological Development: A Case Study of Japanese-English Bilingual Acquisition. M.A. Thesis. Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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 is a naturalistic longitudinal recording of one boy, Naoki, from 1;7.15 to 2;7.0 who was exposed to Japanese and English. At the time the recording was made, he was the only child to his parents, both native speakers of Japanese, who lived in northern Virginia, USA. The main language spoken at home was standard Japanese, although code-switching to English occurred especially when English speakers were present. Naoki also attended an English-speaking local daycare center.

Data collection & transcription

The main recording sessions took place in Naoki’s family residence on 19 different occasions at intervals of 2 to 3 weeks, except when the family was not available. Each session consisted of two 30-minute segments. In one of these, Naoki was recorded as he interacted with a native English-speaking investigator (Dee Cain or Caroline Vickers). In the other, he was recorded as he interacted with a native Japanese-speaking investigator (Mits Ota). Naoki’s parents occasionally participated in the interaction as well. The order of the Japanese and English segments alternated across sessions. No structure was imposed on the interaction, which normally centered around activities Naoki happened to be interested in on the day.

Recordings were made on an analog cassette tape recorder and an external microphone placed nearby the target child. Transcription was carried out by Mits Ota. Phonetic transcription was originally done in UNIBET up to 2;02.05 and subsequently converted to the IPA. Later transcripts are orthography only. For Japanese, the Hepburn romanization system was used.

Language is not marked when it matches the intended language of the session (e.g., English for the “a” files). When a word from the other language was used, it was tagged with @s (e.g., “look@s, kore Ampamman da yo”). When an entire utterance was in the other language, it was stated in the %com line.

Soundfiles are available and currently being linked to the transcripts. However, audio is missing for 020122b and the first portion of 011105b (up to Line 752). These had been available when the transcription was done but were lost later.

The data were later edited and more thoroughly transcribed phonetically using the Phon software program. The recordings of the English-only sessions were transcribed into IPA by an English native speaker, and the Japanese-only sessions by a Japanese native speaker, both research assistants with adequate training in linguistics and phonetic transcription.