Convert older CHAT files

Brian MacWhinney macw at
Thu Dec 6 17:45:47 UTC 2007

Dear Anne-Christin,
      Converting old files will take a lot of work.  Some parts of this
work, however,
can be somewhat automated.  My guess is that you are reading an old
version of the
CLAN manual.  You should download a new version from the web.  Then
open up
Chapter 11 on the Utility Commands and you will see the INSERT
command.  This is
the replacement for the old ID command.  That will help with the
headers.  However,
before running INSERT, make sure that your @Participants header tiers
are correct, since
INSERT relies a lot on those.
     Past that point, there may be repetitive changes of specific
codes.  CLAN has two tools for
this.  One is CHSTRING and the other is the Query-Replace inside each
file.  However, to
do this most efficiently you should use a tool like BBEdit on the Mac
or perhaps Perl or Awk
on Unix to do what are called regular expression replacements.  If you
understand how to
do things like this, these tools are extremely efficient.  However, if
you don't have access to something like BBEdit, you may want to get
some help on learning how to do global replacements
across collections of files.
     Best wishes,

--Brian MacWhinney

On Dec 6, 2007, at 11:29 AM, Anne-Christin Tannhäuser wrote:

> Hello. I'm trying to analyze CHAT files that were coded in 1999. I
> downloaded the latest version of CLAN and "check" listed a large
> amount of syntax error due to the tightening of CHAT some time ago. Is
> there an efficient way to convert all my files (320) into the new
> format, especially concerning the headers so that I can use statfreq.
> An associated issue is: The CLAN manual says that there is supposed to
> be a command called ID which generates @ID headers, but I can not find
> it in the command list. What can I do?
> Thank you in advance,
> Anne-Christin

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