While trawling through the many piles of conversational data being thrown at me while I’m happily ensconced as a CLIC visiting graduate student at UCLA, I’ve made a little mnemonic device for myself to help me tackle a transcript turn by turn:
Turn # (lines)
For each turn of talk, I’m asking myself:
- Which turn number is it?
- Which lines does it occupy?
- What is it in its local sequence? (an FPP, an SPP etc.)
- Which position in the sequence does it occupy?
- What action does it implement? (If any.)
- What is it marked by? (If at all.)
- How is it designed/shaped?
Although there’s always lots more to ask of any turn, especially in terms of its use of conventional formulations, detailed lexical/syntactic/prosodic features and how the turns in or across sequences interrelate, this seems like a reasonable set of initial questions to ask when looking at a turn for the first time.
I’m OK with the acronym S.P.A.M.D. but would welcome any suggestions for other turn-analytic question labels beginning with M or even better – with E so I can complete the set.