14.1005, Disc: New:Transcribing Non-standard Spoken Variations

LINGUIST List linguist at linguistlist.org
Fri Apr 4 15:42:15 UTC 2003

LINGUIST List:  Vol-14-1005. Fri Apr 4 2003. ISSN: 1068-4875.

Subject: 14.1005, Disc: New:Transcribing Non-standard Spoken Variations

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Date:  Thu, 03 Apr 2003 10:18:47 +0000
From:  Dominic Watt <d.j.l.watt at abdn.ac.uk>
Subject:  Article on transcription practices

-------------------------------- Message 1 -------------------------------

Date:  Thu, 03 Apr 2003 10:18:47 +0000
From:  Dominic Watt <d.j.l.watt at abdn.ac.uk>
Subject:  Article on transcription practices

List subscribers may be interested to read an article in last Friday's
(March 28th) Times Higher Education Supplement called 'It's I mean
like uh disrespectful' by Sarah Nelson.

You can sign up for a free two-week online trial of the THES by going
to   http://www.thes.co.uk/subscriptions/free_trial/

Nelson's article discusses features of speech ('local accents',
'verbal stumblings', 'poor grammar', hesitations and 'speech
problems') that she does not believe we should attempt to represent in
transcriptions of interviews, statements, etc. used for research in
sociology and other 'qualitative social research'. Nelson is an
honorary research fellow in the Department of Sociology at the
University of Edinburgh, doing research on child sex abuse and child
protection policy. I find it worrying, for several reasons, that her
attitudes towards non-standard spoken varieties and their perceived
inappropriateness for transcriptions of the sort used by sociologists
and other social scientists may actually be fairly typical of
researchers and practitioners in her field as a whole.

Dom Watt
Department of English
University of Aberdeen

LINGUIST List: Vol-14-1005

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