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Comparing English Worldwide: The International Corpus of English

By Sidney Greenbaum | Go to book overview

1
Introducing ICE
SIDNEY GREENBAUM
THE ICE COUNTRIES
ICE (the International Corpus of English) is an ambitious project, drawing on researchers located in over twenty countries. Its principal aim is to provide the resources for comparative studies of the English used in countries where it is either a majority first language (for example, Canada and Australia) or an official additional language (for example, India and Nigeria). In both language situations, English serves as a means of communication between those who live in these countries.The resources that ICE is providing for comparative studies are computer corpora, collections of samples of written and spoken English from each of the countries that are participating in the project. For most of the countries, the ICE project is stimulating the first systematic study of the English used in their country.I published the original proposal for ICE in 1988 ( Greenbaum, 1988a) after preliminary discussions on the scope of the project. Since its inception I have been co-ordinating the project, and the Survey of English Usage (of which I am Director) has been providing guidance to participating research teams and dealing with their queries. The Survey has distributed manuals on the compilation and annotation of the ICE corpora and has created much of the software for these purposes. We have sent out newsletters and accompanying discussion documents. Most of the ICE participants have visited the Survey to view our work on ICE-GB (the British ICE corpus) and to discuss work on their corpora. Since many of them attend annual conferences of ICAME (the International Computer Archive of Modem English), the conferences provide an opportunity for meetings to report progress.ICE-GB was the first ICE component to be started. 1 At the time of writing, commitments have been received from researchers for eighteen national or regional corpora. When completed, these corpora will constitute the components of ICE-- the International Corpus of English:
1. Australia
2. Cameroon
3. Canada
4. Caribbean: Jamaica
5. East Africa
Kenya
Malawi
Tanzania

-3-

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