Recording and digitizing infant-directed speech

Recordings and transcripts are available for 16 mother-child pairs. 8 of these were recruited without regard to the education level of the mother but, as it turned out, all had at least a bachelor's degree. Subsequently, 8 more mother-child pairs were recruited with the requirement that the mother must not have completed more than 2 years of college. The education levels of each of the subjects can be viewed by clicking here. 6 of the 8 lower-education subjects completed all or almost all of the sessions, but the remaining 2 provided only about 7 usable sessions each.

Each mother-infant pair was recorded in their home during approximately 14 sessions lasting 1.5 to 2 hours each. Sessions were separated by approximately 2 weeks during the period when the child was between 9 and 15 months old. The mother and child were left alone during the recording session. The middle 75 minutes of each session were extracted, digitized, and transcribed. Some details of the methods can be found in our paper:

Brent, M. R. & Siskind, J. M (2001). The role of exposure to isolated words in early vocabulary development. Cognition, 81, 31-44. (abstract, full-text)

If you use our data, please cite that paper. Thank you!
Equipment and Software Used For Recording/Digitizing
Pro Audio DAT Recorder Sony TCDD8 Official Product Site
Body Microphone Sony ECMT140 Company Homepage
Digital I/O Adapter Sony RMRD100 Company Homepage
Break Out Box and PCI Interface Delta 66 24 Bit/96 kHz PCI Unofficial Site
Sound Forge XP Version 4.5 Official Product Site

Transcribing infant-directed speech

Transcription standard

Transcription was based on a subset of the CHAT standard, as described in The CHILDES Project: Tools for Analyzing Talk,Second edition, by Brian MacWhinney. The third edition can be purchased from LEA by clicking here, but we do not know what differences there may be between the standards in the second and third editions. This basic standard was detailed further in our own supplemental document, which you can get by clicking here (for pdf) or here (for postscript).
Equipment and Software Used For Transcription
Dynamic Headphones Sennheiser HD545 Official Product Site
RedHat Linux Version 6.2 Company Homepage
Segmentation Editor* Version 1.27 Custom Developed Software: See Description Below*

* Segmentation-editor is software we developed for transcribing our recorded audio files of mothers speaking to their children. It provides a graphical interface for the transciber to enter text and align that text with it's corresponding sound in the audio file. It outputs the transciption into a chat (.cha) file, which follows the CHILDES standard. It also checks all text for spelling and valid chat syntax. The program was written in Scheme and includes some C++ components. Currently, it only runs on RedHat Linux. If you would like a copy of the executable or source code, please contact Michael Brent . THIS SOFTWARE COMES WITH ABSOLUTELY NO WARANTEE OR SUPPORT!