CHILDES & TalkBank Projects Led by Dr.Brian MacWhinney


CHILDES and TalkBank

Dr.Brian MacWhinney developed and directs the CHILDES and TalkBank corpora, two widely used databases for language acquisition research.

The CHILDES system provides tools for studying conversational interactions. These tools include a database of transcripts, programs for computer analysis of transcripts, methods for linguistic coding, and systems for linking transcripts to digitized audio and video. The CHILDES database includes a rich variety of computerized transcripts from language learners. Most of these transcripts record spontaneous conversational interactions. There are also transcripts from bilingual children, older school-aged children, adult second-language learners, children with various types of language disabilities, and aphasics who are trying to recover from language loss. The transcripts include data on the learning of 26 different languages.

Canaan Media digitized a set of audio and video collections for this project, including the conversion of cassettes to CDs.

Source from TalkBank Webpage

“These pages provide suggestions and guidelines for researchers who wish to create audio files for analysis with the CLAN editor and other TalkBank programs.

Warning: It is best to not rely on MP3 or similar lossy compression schemes for the archived version of your audio data. These compressed formats are lower in quality and more difficult to segment temporally. Please rely instead on 16-bit WAV format in stereo at either 22,050 or 44,100 KHz.

Working with audio involves two basic processes: recording and linkage.

The first step is recording. In the old days, one would record to cassettes or tapes, but now most recording goes directly to digital files. If you would like some suggestions on recording equipment and techniques, you should read this information.
For recording of child subjects, here is an excellent description of a fully implemented set-up from Margaret Fleck and suggestions regarding wireless mikes from Toby Mcrae.
For recording from adult subjects here are suggestions from Michael Chial.
The second step is transcription and linkage. If you would like to learn how to transcribe your audio files in a way that also links the transcripts directly to the files, you should read this information.
If you have older recordings on cassettes or reel-to-reel, we recommend using a professional digitization service. Prices for this service are now very reasonable. In the United States, we can recommend Canaan Media LLC and blackdogmastering,com in Florida, but BlackDog only does cassettes and Canaan does both cassettes and reel-to-reel.”

Keyword: cassette to mp3cassette to CD