A brief description in English
The “Mr. Bean corpus” derives from an empirical survey conducted in the autumn of 1995 by a group of linguists from the University of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen Business School. In the survey, 18 Danish students from the University of Copenhagen and 27 Italian students from the University of Turin were asked to reproduce two Mr. Bean episodes played by Rowan Atkinson, one in writing and one orally, and to create a short argumentative text on the basis of four claims regarding smoking.
The two Bean episodes were The Christmas Crib, which is part of the episode Merry Christmas Mr. Bean, and the complete episode The Library. The former sequence is three minutes long and the latter nine. For the written texts each participant had a personal computer at his/her disposal. The oral texts were tape-recorded and the tapes subsequently transcribed. Both the Danish and the Italian students were divided in two groups, A and B, and the first group reproduced the first episode orally and the second one in writing, and the second group vice versa.
In this way, the corpus ended up consisting of 36 Bean retellings in Danish, 18 written and 18 oral, 54 Bean retellings in Italian, 27 written and 27 oral, and 18 Danish and 27 Italian argumentative texts. These parallel texts, based upon the same extralinguistic input, gives us the possibility of comparing narrative and argumentative text structuring both cross-linguistically and in written and oral texts of the same language.
The corpus constitutes vol. 3 of the trilogy Tekststrukturering på italiensk og dansk. Resultater af en komparativ undersøgelse / Strutturazione testuale in italiano e in danese. Risultati di una indagine comparativa, edited by Gunver Skytte, Iørn Korzen, Paola Polito and Erling Strudsholm and published in 1999 by Museum Tusculanum Press, who kindly gave permission to create this web site. Vols. 1 and 2 of the same publication contain the results of the survey carried out by the editors and their colleagues Hanne Jansen, Bente Lihn Jensen and Eva Skafte Jensen, and a detailed description of the empirical survey can be found in the first paper of vol. 1.
Apart from the corpus itself, vol. 3 comprises the data of the participants, the instructions given to the participants, and the instructions given to the transcribers of the oral text. The last three sections appear in the same two languages as the corpus itself, i.e. Danish and Italian.
Copenhagen Business School