Transcription symbols used in conversation analysis

8 September 2008
Symbol Meaning
[ Starting point of overlapping speech
] End point of overlapping speech
(2.4) Silence measured in seconds
(.) Pause of less than 0.2 seconds
Upward shift in pitch
Downward shift in pitch
word Emphasis
wo:rd Prolongation of sound
°word° Section of talk produced in lower volume than the surrounding talk
WORD Section of talk produced in higher volume than the surrounding talk
w#ord# Creaky voice
£word£ Smile voice
wo(h)rd Laugh particle inserted within a word
wo– Cut off in the middle of a word
word< Abruptly completed word
>word< Section of talk uttered in a quicker pace than the surrounding talk
<word> Section of talk uttered in a slower pace than the surrounding talk
(word) Section of talk that is difficult to hear but is likely as transcribed
( ) Inaudible word
.hhh Inhalation
hhh Exhalation
. Falling intonation at the end of an utterance
? Raising intonation at the end of an utterance
, Flat intonation at the end of an utterance
word.=word “Rush through’ without the normal gap into a new utterance

Adapted from:

Peräkylä, A. (2004). Conversation analysis. In C. Searle, D. , J. F. Gubrium, & G. Gobo (Eds.), Qualitative Research Practice (pp. 165–179). London: Sage.