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Causality Across Languages (CAL): Spanish


Language Spanish
Depositor Iraide Ibarretxe, Andrea Ariño Bizarro
Affiliation Universidad de Zaragoza
Location Spain
Collection ID 0502
Grant ID BCS-153846, BCS-1644657
Funding Body National Science Foundation
Collection Status Forthcoming
Landing Page Handle


Summary of collection 

CAL brings together an international team of researchers to investigate how speakers of different languages categorise causal chains for the purposes of describing them. It comprises four sub projects. The first of these is dedicated to the representation of causal relations in narrative discourses, with emphasis on universals and variation in underspecification and implicitness. The second sub project probes quantitatively and typologically the often hypothesised isomorphism between semantic and morphosyntactic complexity in verbal representations of causal chains. A third sub project investigates the universality of constraints on form-to-meaning mapping in descriptions of causal chains. The fourth and final sub project targets the cognitive representation of causality, searching for aspects of culture-specificity and possible linguistic reflexes.


Group represented

This collection represents speakers of the Spanish language. Within Spanish language there are different dialects, so something to keep in mind is that all speakers come from Aragón.


Language information

Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language that originated in the Iberian Peninsula of Europe. Today, it is a global language with nearly 500 million native speakers, mainly in Spain and the Americas. It is the world’s second-most spoken native language after Mandarin Chinese, and the world’s fourth-most spoken language, after English, Mandarin Chinese and Hindi.

Spanish is a part of the Ibero-Romance group of languages of the Indo-European language family, which evolved from several dialects of Vulgar Latin in Iberia after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century.


Collection contents

The collection contains sessions recorded as part of two CAL sub projects: the Language and Cognition sub project (IV) and the Discourse Representation sub project (II). There are 32 sessions recorded as part of the Language and Cognition sub project (IV), each session representing two tasks:

  1. a non-linguistic subtask where participants assign responsibility to people doing different actions
  2. a linguistic subtask where participants provide verbal descriptions of a subset of those videos

Each session contains for both tasks:

  • a compressed MP4 video recording
  • a WAV audio recording
  • a PDF with the results and transcriptions of the task
  • a PDF with demographic data

In total, there are more than 32 hours of causal narratives in Spanish.

There are also eight sessions recorded as part of the Discourse Representation sub project (II), each session representing one participant’s response to the discourse task. Each session contains

  • a compressed MP4 video recording
  • an extracted WAV file
  • a PDF file with a transcription of the recording
  • a PDF with demographic data


Collection history

The data for this collection was collected by Andrea Ariño-Bizarro and Iraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano between August 2017 and December 2018. All recordings were made at Aragón (Spain).


Acknowledgement and citation

Users of any part of the collection should acknowledge Andrea Ariño Bizarro and Iraide Ibarretxe Antuñano as the data collectors and researchers. The material presented here is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. BCS-153846 and BCS-1644657, ‘Causality Across Languages’; Principal Investigator Juergen Bohnemeyer. Users should also acknowledge Juergen Bohnemeyer as the Primary Investigator of the Causality Across Languages project and the National Science Foundation for funding the research. Individual speakers do not need to be acknowledged when extracting linguistic examples from their speech.

To refer to any data from the collection, please cite as follows:

Ibarretxe, Iraide. Forthcoming. Causality Across Languages (CAL): Spanish. Endangered Languages Archive. Handle: Accessed on [insert date here].

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