Transcription conventions

Transcription conventions in a project like VOICE are of particular importance and need to reconcile three main requirements: 1) they need to capture the reality of spoken interactions as precisely as possible, 2) they need to be replicable, i.e. the scheme must be usable without further explanation by other researchers, 3) they need to make sure that the resulting transcriptions are computer-readable. As with any other transcription conventions, the reconciliation of these different requirements calls for compromise and some aspects of spoken interaction, for example, many of its non-vocal paralinguistic features, necessarily fall outside its scope.

The VOICE transcription conventions, which are the result of extensive experience in applying these criteria to a wide range of ELF data, are of two kinds: mark-up and spelling. The VOICE mark-up conventions are specifically designed to reflect what seem to be the most significant features of ELF interactions. For instance, the nature of VOICE data prompted the corpus compilers to devise a fairly detailed set of descriptors for pronunciation variations and coinages, for code-switching, for onomatopoeic sounds and for laughter, not only as such but as a prosodic feature of speech.
The VOICE spelling conventions are designed to render the diversity of ELF speech in a standardized way.

The are made available here with a view to facilitating the understanding of VOICE transcripts. However, other ELF researchers are invited to make use of the conventions for their own research.

The recommended citation for the VOICE Transcription Conventions is:

VOICE Project. 2007. VOICE Transcription Conventions [2.1]. (date of last access).

Alternatively, you may refer to the mark-up and spelling conventions separately:

VOICE Project. 2007. “Mark-up conventions”. VOICE Transcription Conventions [2.1]. (date of last access).

VOICE Project. 2007. “Spelling conventions”. VOICE Transcription Conventions [2.1]. (date of last access).

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