ICE TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

This project is being carried out jointly with Prof. Valerie Youssef, Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, and has been partly funded by the University of the West Indies' Research and Publication Fund.

The International Corpus of English - ICE

Since 1990, researchers working on separate ICE projects have been building electronic corpora of national and regional varieties of English around the world. Visit the ICE website to learn more about the project.

ICE Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago are the southernmost islands on the Caribbean archipelago. There, as on several Caribbean islands, a local English-lexicon Creole is spoken alongside an emerging variety of Standard English. While a great deal is known about the grammar, lexicon, and (to lesser extent) phonology of the Creole, less is known about the emerging Standard.

The aim of this project, then, is to collect a corpus of one million words of English as it is spoken and written in Trinidad and Tobago. It is made up of text categories specified by the ICE project.

The spoken part of the corpus comprises 600,000 words, drawn from a wide variety of speakers in a range of contexts such as conversations, business meetings, radio broadcasts, legal proceedings, and parliamentary debates. Below you can listen to samples from a few of our recordings, and follow along with the transcripts.
The remaining 400,000 words form the written corpus. The writings represented include formal and informal letters, newspaper reports and editorials, academic works, and prose fiction. You can compare original written samples with the marked-up transcripts on our extract pages.

Extracts
Have a listen to the samples from the ICE T&T corpus below. What differences do you observe between the two texts? To hear a sample and view the transcript, just click on the one you’d like to hear.

Conversation (Trinidad)

Conversation (Tobago)

Broadcast talk

You can also view samples from the written part of the corpus. If you click on the link, you can view both the original written document and the document after the ICE annotations have been added.


Academic writing, humanities

Student’s exam script

For more examples of English in Trinidad and Tobago, click on the link to the article below:

Deuber, Dagmar (2010). Standard English and situational variation: Sociolinguistic considerations in the compilation of ICE-Trinidad and Tobago. ICAME Journal 34: 24-40.

SELECTED FURTHER PUBLICATIONS RELATED TO THIS PROJECT

Deuber, D. (2014). English in the Caribbean: Variation, Style and Standards in Jamaica and Trinidad. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Deuber, D. (2010). Modal verb usage at the interface of English and a related Creole: A corpus-based study of can/could and will/would in Trinidadian English. Journal of English Linguistics, 38(2), 105-142. doi: 10.1177/0075424209348151