This chapter provides a general overview of Spanish spoken corpora in order to observe the possibilities they offer for the study of situational linguistic variation, as well as the linguistic features related to it. The diverse methodological procedures employed in their elaboration, along with the different aims they address, the genre or genres which they are based on and the variety of registers that can be found in them, affect the analyses, make contrastive studies possible, and may even explain the presence of certain pragmatic facts.
The review of what has been published so far will also allow us to reflect on what has been done in relation to the oral corpora, and on what, in our opinion, still remains to be 311done, the future challenges: are the current oral corpora sufficient to study the diaphasic variation? What are the most remarkable deficiencies? How should the forthcoming corpora be designed and what should be corrected? And something essential, do our analyses based on oral corpus help to construct, confirm, destroy or disconfirm theories about spoken language in its context of use?
All of which can help us decide with criteria in which direction oral corpus linguistics should go in the study of variation, especially the situational one.