by Manuel Barbera (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Carla Marello (email@example.com).
VALICO is an Italian international Learner Corpus freely available and serchable online.
Devised by Manuel Barbera and Carla Marello, soon joined by Elisa Corino, VALICO was born on the 17th of June 2003 during a meeting summoned to define its specific characteristics.
A shot of some people at the first preliminary meeting discussing VALICO.
First row left to right: (sitting) Valeria Negri, Franca Bosc, Cecilia Andorno, Carla Marello; (standing) Tanya Roy, Stefania Ferraris, Luigi Motta. Second row, standing, left to right: Gianni Boella, Annalisa Lombardo, Chelia Schifano, Manuela Manera, Elisa Corino, Valeria Saggiotto, Manuel Barbera. Third row, standing behind, left to right: Stefano Cambursano, Cristiano Furiassi, Silvia Camarca, Mario Squartini.
The acronym VALICO stands for "Varietą di Apprendimento della Lingua Italiana: Corpus Online", i.e. 'Online Corpus of the Learning Varieties of the Italian Language'.
The name was long discussed among our research group.
The final choice was Valico (properly meaning '(mountain) pass') principally for two reasons:
+ Piedmont, the region where our group operates, is a country of mountain passes.
+ The mountain pass suggests the general metaphor of the learning process.
Its main goals are
+ to offer a survey of text types that teachers of Italian around the world make their students write;
+ to show how students of different age and mother tongue write in Italian;
+ to become, in the future, a POS- and error-tagged corpus belonging to a larger set of POS-tagged corpora of contemporary Italian;
+ to work as a roundtable on methods to prevent the most frequent errors and avoidance strategies;
+ to provide Italian Linguistics with new insights into variation and acquisition.