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transcribing songs

transcribing songs

Published at: 2015-06-25

We are transcribing play sessions between caregivers and children. How are songs transcribed? For example, the parent started singing, "This is the way that (child) digs, (child) digs, (child) digs" when he was diggining in sand. Thanks so much. Posted by Melissa Moore


  1. If you are not interested in analyzing the parent language, you can use a comment, e.g., P {parent singing}. If you do want to analyze the language, please be mindful of the analysis outcomes. Singing could potentially increase MLU, TNW, NDW, WPM, etc. You can avoid the increase in MLU by underscoring all of the words in the song, creating one word for SALT analysis. You could segment song lyrics according to C units or P units if that would fit your needs. You could time out the segment of singing using a timing line at the beginning and end of the segment of singing allowing you to remove it from analysis if need be, while keeping it in the transcript for the reader, and for analysis if you chose to include it later. There are a number of options, depending on what you want to learn from the language sample. The take-home message is to be aware of what you want from the SALT analysis: Understand the impact of what gets typed into the transcript (how it is segmented and/or coded), and how that affects analysis variables in SALT.

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