LINGUIST List 31.2454

Tue Aug 04 2020

FYI: Corpus of Hurricane Harvey Narratives

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 30-Jul-2020
From: Robert Englebretson <>
Subject: Corpus of Hurricane Harvey Narratives
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The Department of Linguistics at Rice University is pleased to announce the availability of HONOR (Harvey Oral Narratives on Record), a curated corpus of 100 conversational interviews, in which a total of 112 residents of the greater Houston area discuss their experiences with Hurricane Harvey. The corpus consists of 56 hours 17 minutes of audio recordings, associated transcripts, metadata, and documentation. Funding was provided by a Rice HERE (Houston Engagement and Recovery Effort) grant from the Office of the Provost, and Rice Linguistics faculty members Robert Englebretson, Suzanne Kemmer, and Nancy Niedzielski supervised the project. Interviews were conducted during the year after Harvey, from January 27 through November 17, 2018, primarily by Rice undergraduate linguistics students.

The corpus is free for download from Rice's Urban Data Platform at the Kinder Institute for Urban Research. Audio files are downloadable in two formats, depending on the needs of the researcher: as uncompressed, 16-bit, 44.1kHz, .wav; or as highly-compressed MP3 (VBR audio V6). Transcripts use the Discourse Transcription system outlined in Du Bois et al. (1993), and are downloadable in plain-text ASCII format.

The following link takes you to the catalog page for the MP3 version, which is a 2.24-GB zip file that takes about 2.27 GB of disk space once unzipped (including 4 MB for the transcripts).

Alternatively, the following link takes you to the catalog page for the original uncompressed wav version, which is a 25-GB zip file that will take up about 32 GB of disk space once unzipped

In order to download either version, you will need to register your email address by signing up for a free account on Rice's Urban Data Platform, and agree to cite the corpus appropriately.

These landing pages also include a PDF file of narrative summaries for the 100 interviews, so that potential users can get a sense of the corpus before downloading.
In sum, the HONOR corpus seeks to honor Houstonians’ lived experiences with Harvey and its aftermath, and to provide a rich source of qualitative narrative data for scholars from a range of fields and research interests.

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Page Updated: 04-Aug-2020