International Corpus of English – Sri Lanka

The International Corpus of English (ICE) Project was initiated by Sidney Greenbaum in the late 1980s. The Sri Lankan component of ICE (ICE-Sri Lanka) was initiated in the 1990s under the auspices of Christopher Tribble and in early 2005, he suggested that the Department of English of the University of Giessen and the University of Colombo take over the compilation of the corpus. In 2006, ICE-SL was reloaded as a joint project of the two universities (Mukherjee, et al, 2010) with Prof. Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee and Prof. Dushyanthi Mendis as the co-principal investigators. ICE-SL is the only corpus of Sri Lankan English in the world and is to be used for research into the distinctive features of English as it is used in Sri Lanka.

A number of research teams from Giessen, Germany have visited Sri Lanka in order to collect data for corpus compilation. In 2015, a seven-member team and in 2017, a six-member team from the Institut fur Anglistik, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany visited Sri Lanka on linguistic fieldwork excursions for this purpose. While based at the Department of English, University of Colombo, the excursion teams collected recordings of Sri Lankan English spoken at various events (face to face conversations between friends and family, classroom lessons and demonstrations, talks, news, sports commentary, discussions broadcast on radio and television, etc.). The team comprised of Dilini Algama, a former student of the Department of English, University of Colombo, who is the Coordinator of the ICE-SL project, and students of the University of Giessen. Under this project, 24 students of the Department of English, University of Colombo have worked on the corpus and been trained in data collection and transcription.

The Department of English, University of Colombo, in collaboration with Justus Liebig University, Germany, is pleased to announce that the the International Corpus of English-Sri Lanka (ICE-SL) was launched in November 2019 at the Conference on Sri Lankan Languages and Literature titled Corpora, Archives and Performance  hosted by the Department of English, University of Colombo.

This corpus, totaling 1 million words of written and spoken Sri Lankan English is now complete and available for research. The corpus data and the accompanying Manual can be obtained by writing to <>.