Investigation

To reach their objectives, Val.Es.Co. developed a research project which approached the description and the explanation of the so-called colloquial Spanish in its different levels of analyses and on the basis of a fundamentally oral corpus, which was directly obtained in spontaneous conversations and other types of discourse.

Our main hypothesis was that the functioning of the colloquial conversation could be expressed, not as a transgression of the sentence grammar, but on a pragmatic base as a conjunction of structures and strategies which are being constituted during the progress of interaction.

For the verification of this hypothesis, it was necessary to have a representative corpus of conversations, recorded by a transcription system that could represent the conversations which were the objective of our study. Preceding to the analysis, a representative corpus had to be elaborated. Of this, now completed,  corpus, two collected volumes have been published (Briz, ed., 1995, and Briz and Val.Es.Co., 2002). As example we include a section of our transcription corpus and the corresponding audio fragment.

All our research has led to, besides the confirmation of our starting hypothesis, to the compliance of various objectives:

Coloquial register characterization

The characterization of the colloquial register: on the one hand by the analysis and explication of the linguistic aspects and the communicative strategy that in general identify this register (Briz, 1996 en 1998) and on the other hand by the more concrete description of the different linguistic phenomenon, like the order of words (Padilla, 2001), intonation (Hidalgo, 1997; Cabedo 2006), the continuity of a story (Baixauli, 2000), phraseology (Ruiz Gurillo, 1997 and 1998), connection (Pons, 1998; Estellés 2006; Montañez 2007), intensification and mitigation (Briz, 1995 and 1998; M. Albelda, 2002, 2003 and 2004), linguistic borrowing (Gómez Capuz, 1998), the presence of jargon (Sanmartín, 1998), colloquial metaphors (Sanmartín, 2000 and M.J. Fernández, 2002 and 2003), direct speech (Benavent, 2000), lexical quantification (Terrádez, 2001), syntactic variation (Gómez Molina, 1997), etc.

Conversation structure and units analysis

The study of the structure of conversations and its units: its successive configuration, the alternation of turns, simultaneous speech, the interactional conduct of the two participants, etc. (Briz and Val.Es.Co., 2000)

Another works ongoing

Currently it is been developed a virtual environment for query Val.Es.Co. corpus. This is an upgrade from the previous corpus, published in 2002 in Arco/Libross (see more here). Deepening into the description and explanation of other conversational colloquialisms as deixis, "syntactic" colloquial structures, intensification or metaphorical processes, strengthen the identification of the act and the subact (smaller units of conversation) as well as in the analysis of possible correlations between social and linguistic variables.

English