Topic Choice 1 :
L2 Corpus Study for Intonation, Structure and Error Analysis
Tape Recording (or MP3 recording)
1) Tape record
several minutes of one or more L2 speakers using English.
2) Carefully transcribe
the tape recording into writing; ( double space; i.e. leave an empty
line after each line of text).
Intonation Analysis and
3a) Display and describe
the intonation patterns in a section of your transcription. To
display intonation, you can use conventions adapted by other linguists
(e.g. David Crystal, The English Tone of Voice) or you can invent
your own convention. I strongly advise you to read the following article
on 'Intonation in the Classroom' : http://www.cels.bham.ac.uk/samplemats/scd/04sd.pdf
;( if you computer cannot open the Acrobat *.pdf file, you can download
the Acrobat Reader program for free). For more ideas, go to Google and
do a search on "transcribing intonation".
3b) Show how the intonation patterns affect the
speaker's meaning in the section you display.
Language Structure and Meaning
4a) Study the structure of the language you have
4b) Make a list of the different kinds of sentences,
and count their frequency (show this in a table).
4c) Discuss how the different kinds of sentences
influence the style and meanings expressed by the speaker.
Error Analysis and Correction
5a) Study the text for
odd expressions and errors. Mark each type of error
with a colour
code, or by some other method.
5b) If possible, ask a native speaker to help you
decide what are "errors". Remember that what is bad in writing
might be OK in speech.
5c) Distinguish between
single morpheme errors, and more serious errors of syntax
etc.. Note whether an error badly confuses the meaning of the
text (these errors are usually global errors).
5d) Note any other
ways that the text differs from native speaker talk.
5e) Categorize and analyze
the errors. Explain what went wrong in each case. Try to explain
in a common sense manner rather than just using technical jargon.
5f) Suggest an interesting
plan to help the speaker to correct some of the errors.
Note on Recording Method
1. It is best to ask permission to use a
tape recording after you record, not before; (if people
are aware of the tape recorder, they won't be natural). If the speaker
does not want you to use a tape recording, then destroy it and
record someone else.
2. Hand in a copy of the tape recording with
3. Add the written transcription as an appendix
to your essay.