transcript is a technique for the fixing (e.g. on paper, on a computer
screen) of fleeting events (e.g. utterances, gestures) for the
purpose of detailed analysis.Transcripts are inherently incomplete
and should be continuously revised to display features of an interaction
that have been illuminated by a particular analysis and allow for
new insights that might lead to a new analysis. (See Alessandro
Duranti Linguistic Anthropology, Cambridge University Press, 1997:
ch. 5, and References below)
are different kinds of transcripts. Some transcripts are designed
to only represent talk. Other ones try to integrate information about
talk and gestures. Some other ones might focus exclusively on non-verbal
interaction. Linguistic ethnographers often produce an annotated
transcript, that is, a text where the representation of talk is enriched
by contextual information that is relevant to talk or makes it meaningful
(see Bambi B. Schieffelin, The Give and Take of Everyday Life,
Cambridge UP, 1990: 27-36).
(Based on the transcription conventions developed by Gail Jefferson
for the analysis of conversational turns in English conversation
-- see Sacks, Schegloff, and Jefferson 1974 or Schenkein 1978 in
the References on greetings).
Walter; Speakers' names are separated from their utterances by semicolons,
followed by a few blank spaces.
?; A question mark instead of a name or initial indicates that no
good guess could be made as to the identity of the speaker.
??; Multiple question marks followed by semicolon indicate that
the speaker's identity is not clear but there are reasons to believe
that it is someone different from the last unidentified speaker.
?Walter; a question mark before the name of the speaker stands for
a probable but not safe guess regarding the identity of the speaker.
(1.5) Numbers between parentheses indicate length of pauses in seconds
and tenths of seconds.
... Three dots indicate an untimed pause.
[...] Three dots between square brackets indicate that some material
of the original transcript or example has been omitted or that the
transcript starts or ends in the middle of further talk.
= Equal signs indicate 'latching,' that is, two utterances that
follow one another without any perceptible pause.
[ A square bracket between turns indicates the point at which overlap
by another speaker starts.
// Double obliques indicate the point at which overlap by the next
(don't) Words between parentheses in the transcripts represents
the best guess of a stretch of talk which was difficult to hear.
? ? ) Blank spaces inside parentheses with occasional question
marks indicate uncertain or unclear talk of approximately the length
of the blank spaces between parentheses.
)) Material between double quotes provides extralinguistic information,
e.g. about bodily movements.
so::: colons indicate the lengthening of the last sound.
B. References on Transcription
Duranti, A. (1997). Linguistic Anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge
Edwards, J. A., & Lampert,
M. D. (Eds.). (1993). Talking Data: Transcription and Coding in
Discourse Research . Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence
Luebs, M. A. (1996). Frozen Speech: The Rhetoric of Transcription.
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Unpublished Dissertation.
Ochs, E. (1979).
Transcription as Theory. In E. Ochs & B. B.
Schieffelin (Eds.), Developmental Pragmatics (pp. 43-72). New York:
Ricoeur, P. (1971). The Model of the Text: Meaningful Action Considered
as Text. Social Research, 38, 529-62.
Sacks, H., Schegloff,
E. A., & Jefferson, G. (1978). A Simplest
Systematics for the Organization of Turn-Taking fo Conversation.
In J. Schenkein (Ed.), Studies in the Organization of Conversational
Interaction (pp. 7-57). New York: Academic Press.
B. B. (1990). The Give and Take of Everyday Life: Language
Socialization of Kaluli Children. Cambridge: Cambridge University