Vehicle City Voices Corpus – Part I

Item Name: Vehicle City Voices Corpus – Part I
Author(s): Erica Britt
LDC Catalog No.: LDC2017S17
ISBN: 1-58563-814-5
ISLRN: 044-780-649-668-4
Release Date: September 14, 2017
Member Year(s): 2017
DCMI Type(s): Sound, Text
Sample Type: pcm
Sample Rate: 44100
Data Source(s): microphone conversation
Application(s): discourse analysis, prosody
Language(s): English
Language ID(s): eng
License(s): Vehicle City Voices Corpus – Part 1 Agreement
Online Documentation: LDC2017S17 Documents
Licensing Instructions: Subscription & Standard Members, and Non-Members
Citation: Britt, Erica. Vehicle City Voices Corpus – Part I LDC2017S17. Web Download. Philadelphia: Linguistic Data Consortium, 2017.
Related Works: View


Vehicle City Voices Corpus – Part I was developed at the University of Michigan-Flint, and is an ongoing oral history project and survey of English language variation in Flint, Michigan. It contains approximately 16 hours of speech with corresponding transcripts from interviews of Flint residents conducted between 2012 and 2015.

The corpus was designed to provide high-quality recordings for acoustic analysis and to examine narrative structure and discursive construction of individual and collective identity in urban spaces.


This release is comprised of 21 interviews by undergraduate and graduate students for civic engagement projects in linguistics courses and by a graduate student research assistant. Participants (11 female, 10 male) were born between 1935 and 1991 and represented a range of ages, genders, and ethnicities. Of the interviewees, 11 were Black/African American, 8 were White/Caucasian, and 2 were biracial/mixed ethnic heritage.

Interviews took place in various locations in Flint, including university and community spaces and a church meeting room. Questions focused on recollections of important community events, remembrances about the community, the interviewee's relationship to the auto industry and the city's physical transformation, among other topics.

Sessions were recorded using Marantz PMD661 portable SD recorders with accompanying Audio-Technica AT831B lavalier condenser microphones. The original recordings were uncompressed (PCM-16) sound files stored in WAV format recorded at a sampling rate of 44,100 Hz. These files were then converted to FLAC format. Transcripts are plain text and UTF-8.

Metadata (where provided by participants) includes information on gender, ethnicity, year of birth, level of education, field of employment, average income, length of time living in Flint and its surrounding areas, as well as interviewer age, gender, and ethnicity. In addition, original interview durations, edited interview durations, interview year, and transcript word counts are also provided in the metadata file.


Please view this audio sample and transcript sample.


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