1. each speaker is given one column whether that person is speaking or not, to stress that this person is always actively present;

2. each line represents one second

  1. i. within a line, each '~' represent one-half second of silence);
  2. ii. at the end of a column, an underscore character ('_') indicates that a word was pronounced as unit;

3. the following markers are used for intonation contours:

  1. a period represents a final falling contour;
  2. a question mark represents a final rising contour;
  3. a comma represents a final contour that either does not shift at all or only lightly;

4. the following markers are used for various paraverbal features:

  1. bolding indicates contrastive stress;
  2. a hyphen indicates a sudden pause;
  3. a series of asterisks (****) indicates laughter;
  4. an inverted exclamation point ("¡") indicates that the words that follow (until a normal exclamation point ("!") were said with laughter in the voice.

In the text itself a quote preceded by an asterisk (*"xxxxxxx") is one that we have ourselves made for purpose of contrast or other analytic task. It was not attested in any of our various corpus of texts.
One should note that normal spelling is used. Reasons for this are two-fold:

  1. it leads to a more readable transcript;
  2. most adaptations of normal spelling lead readers to infer a more informal register (and/or a less standard dialect) than is the case.

A fuller justification for these decisions is offered in Chapter One.

October 5, 1999