English intonation in the British Isles
Documentation for the IViE Corpus
Copyrightİ2001 Esther Grabe
ESRC Award Number R000237145
About this Corpus
Key to File Names
Key to Speaker Initials & Speaker Gender
Stimuli: Sentences & Read Text
Download summary booklet
The IViE corpus contains 36 hours of speech data from nine varieties of
English spoken in the British Isles. These pages provide on-line
documentation for the speech-only version of the corpus (i.e. not for the
prosodically transcribed version of the IViE corpus).
The speech-only corpus is (or, in one case, has been) available in the following
IViE Corpus on CD-ROM: CDs 1-4 contain two varieties of English each and CD 5 contains one variety. Each variety
has been put into a separate directory and within each variety directory, you will find 5 subdirectories, one for
each speaking style. Please note: we have had an unexpectedly large number of
requests for CD-ROM version and we have only a limited number of CD-ROM packs left.
Downloadable version: you can download separate packages of speech
data from each dialect, for each of the five speaking styles in the corpus;
e.g. Belfast: Read text; Newcastle: Map task.
On-line version: here, you can listen to data from the corpus on-line and to download as many
individual files as you wish.
The speech data are in .wav format and be viewed & heard with xwaves, PRAAT
free of charge via the web), Pitchworks and any other
signal processing package that can read .wav format.
If you have the IViE CDs or if you have downloaded the IViE data and you would like to listen to and
look at a selection of files, please proceed as follows.
1. Start by reading the section 'About this corpus' below. In this section, you will find
some more information about the data in the corpus.
2. The purpose of the next section 'Keys to file name coding and speaker initials'
explains the structure of
the file names and show how much information about the speech file one can derive from it filename. Secondly,
the section provides a list of speaker initials in each variety and information about speaker gender.
3. In the following section 'The Stimuli', you find orthographic transcriptions of the read speech data.
More detailed information about the corpus is give on the IViE
Information about the IViE system for prosodic labelling which we have developed for the transcription
of intonational variation in English is available here
About this Corpus
The IViE corpus was set up for the investigation of cross-varietal and stylistic variation in
British English intonation.
Varieties of English included in the corpus are:
- Bradford (Punjabi-English bilinguals)
- Cardiff (Welsh-English bilinguals)
- Leeds English
- London (speakers of West Indian descent)
- Newcastle English
Here's a map of the British Isles which shows where we've made the
The data were collected in urban secondary schools, and the speakers were 16 years old
at the time when the recordings were made.
We recorded minimally six male and six female speakers from each variety (we recorded
some additional speakers for some of the varieties, and there are 116 speakers
View the speaker table.
Data in five speaking styles have been recorded: controlled sentences, a read text, a retold version
of the same text, a map task and free conversations.
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Key to File Names
Filenames have five characters, e.g. 's3cji.wav'. The first character is a letter and indicates the sentence type:
s = statement (declarative)
q = question without morphosyntactic makers
w = WH-question
i = inversion question (modal question)
c = coordination structure (with 'or')
's3cji.wav' contains a recording of a declarative sentence.
The second character is a number (e.g. '3' in s3cji.wav) and shows which sentence was produced (see the file 'Stimuli' for
texts). E.g. there are eight different statements. s3cji.wav contains statement number 3 'We arrived
in a limo'.
The third character ('c' in s3cji.wav) indicates the variety. 'c' stands for 'Cambridge'.
b = Belfast
p = Bradford Punjabi
c = Cambridge
w = Cardiff
m = Dublin (recordings were made in Malahide in Dublin)
l = Leeds
s = Liverpool
j = London
n = Newcastle
The two letters at the end of the filename are the initals of the speaker (speaker ji in s2cji.wav). Speaker
gender is not coded in the filenames. Information about gender is given in the following section.
Key to Speaker Initials & Gender
To see the speaker table, please click here
Information on the additional speakers and
speaker pairings in the interactive tasks will be added here soon. Please note
that interactive files are coded with the initial of one of the speakers
in the pair. If you need to know who the other speaker was before this information
has been added here, please mail
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Sentences (controlled, fully voiced):
8 different statements
3 different questions without morphosyntactic markers
3 different WH-questions
3 different inversion-questions
5 different coordination structures, conjuction: 'or'
For a key to filenames for a particular sentence
, please read the section keys to file names.
(1) Simple Statements.
1. We live in Ealing.
2. You remembered the lillies.
3. We arrived in a limo.
4. They are on the railings.
5. We were in yellow.
6. He is on the lilo.
7. You are feeling mellow.
8. We were lying.
(2) Questions without morphosyntactic markers:
1. He is on the lilo?
2. You remembered the lillies?
3. You live in Ealing?
(3) Inversion questions:
1. May I lean on the railings?
2. May I leave the meal early?
3. Will you live in Ealing?
1. Where is the manual?
2. When will you be in Ealing?
3. Why are we in a limo?
1. Are you growing limes or lemons?
2. Is his name Miller or Mailer?
3. Did you say mellow or yellow?
4. Do you live in Ealing or Reading?
5. Did he say lino or lilo?
II. The Cinderella Passage
Once upon a time there was a girl called Cinderella. But everyone called her Cinders.
Cinders lived with her mother and two stepsisters called Lily and Rosa. Lily and Rosa
were very unfriendly and they were lazy girls. They spent all their time buying new
clothes and going to parties. Poor Cinders had to wear all their old hand-me-downs! And
she had to do the cleaning!
One day, a royal messenger came to announce a ball. The ball would be held at
the Royal Palace, in honour of the Queenıs only son, Prince William. Lily and Rosa
thought this was divine. Prince William was gorgeous, and he was looking for a bride!
They dreamed of wedding bells!
When the evening of the ball arrived, Cinders had to help her sisters get ready.
They were in a bad mood. They'd wanted to buy some new gowns, but their mother said
that they had enough gowns. So they started shouting at Cinders. 'Find my jewels!'
yelled one. 'Find my hat!' howled the other. They wanted hairbrushes, hairpins and hair
When her sisters had gone, Cinders felt very down, and she cried. Suddenly, a
voice said: 'Why are you crying, my dear?'. It was her fairy godmother!
The girl poured her heart out: 'Lily and Rosa have it all!' she cried, 'even though
they're awful, and fat, and they're dull! And I want to go to the ball, and meet Prince
'You will, wonıt you?' laughed her fairy godmother. 'Go into the garden and
find me a pumpkin'. Cinders went, and found a splendid pumpkin which the fairy
changed into a dazzling carriage.
'Now bring me four white mice,' the godmother said. The girl went, and found
one... two...three...four mice. The fairy godmother changed the mice into four lovely
horses to pull the carriage.
Then the girl looked at her old rags. 'Oh dear!' she sighed. 'Where will I find
something to wear? I don't have a gown!' 'Hmmm...' said the fairy : 'Let's see, what do
you need? You'll need a ballgown... you need jewellery... you need shoes, and...
something needs to be done about your hair. And would you like a blue gown or a green
For the third time, Cinders' godmother waved her magic wand. A ballgown, a
robe and jewels appeared. And there were some elegant glass slippers.
'You look wonderful,' her fairy godmother said, smiling. 'Just remember one thing - the
magic only lasts until midnight!' And off Cinders went to the ball.
In the Royal Palace, everyone was amazed by the radiant girl in the beautiful
ballgown. 'Who is she?' they asked. Prince William thought Cinders was the most
beautiful girl he had ever seen. 'Have we met?' he asked. 'And may I have the honour
of this dance?'
Prince William and Cinders danced for hours. Cinders was so glad that she failed
to remember her fairy godmotherıs warning. Suddenly the clock chimed midnight!
Cinders ran from the ballroom. 'Where are you going?' Prince William called. In
her hurry, Cinders lost one of her slippers. The Prince wanted to find Cinderella, but he
couldn't find the girl. 'I don't even know her name,' he sighed. But he held on to the
After the ball, the Prince was resolved to find the beauty who had stolen his heart.
The glass slipper was his only clue. So he declared: 'The girl whose foot will fit this
slipper shall be my wife'. And he began to search the kingdom.
Every girl in the land was willing to try on the slipper. But the slipper was always
too small. When the Royal travellers arrived at Cinders' home, Lily and Rosa tried to
squeeze their feet into the slipper. But it was no use; their feet were enormous!
'Do you have any other girls?' the Prince asked Cinders' mother. 'One more,'
she replied. 'Oh no,' cried Lily and Rosa. 'She is much too busy!' But the Prince
insisted that all girls must try the slipper.
Cinders was embarrassed. She didn't want the Prince to see her in her old apron.
And her face was dirty! 'This is your daughter?' the Prince asked, amazed. But then
Cinders tried on the glass slipper, and it fitted perfectly!
The Prince looked carefully at the girl's face, and he recognised her. 'It's you, my
darling isn't it?' he yelled. 'Will you marry me?' Lily and Rosa were horrified. 'It was
you at the ball, Cinders?' they asked. They couldn't believe it! Then Cinders married
William, and they lived happily ever after.
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