CLAN for Conversation Analysis

Conversation Analysis (CA) needs more than good transcriptions. Immediate access to sound and/or video data at all times is essential for analysis. Digital technology has for some years now given researchers the opportunity to access data easily, and the available software has matured to allow stable links between transcriptions and data. This workshop will give a hands-on introduction to the Conversation Analysis version of the CLAN (Computerized Language Analysis) software, which is under constant development by the CHILDES and Talkbank project. The software is freely available and runs under several operating systems (Apple system 9 and X, Windows, and Linux). Transcription files can be exchanged between platforms. The CA standard for the CLAN software builds on the CHAT standard, which for more than a decade has been core software for first language acquisition research. CLAN-CA allows the creation of a network, where the transcription is at the center. Linking from the transcript to a number of relevant file formats is easy (e.g. audio, video, JPEG, textfiles) as well as exporting into other software (e.g. PRAAT, PItCHWORKS). In this way, audio and video documents, pictures, and field notes, as well as tools for prosodic analysis, are available directly from the transcription. A selection of CA transcripts can be downloaded from This workshop includes hands-on training in CLAN for Conversation Analysis, transcription principles and problems, and connecting soundfiles, videofiles, and transcripts. It is designed for 15 teaching hours plus exercises, running over a 5-day period (see schedule below). The teaching hours in the afternoon will shift between lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on activities. The exercises will allow the participants to get on friendly terms with the software and to be able to discuss problems and questions during the course. Accepted participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops.