Analysis of qualitative data is characterized by the need to analyse piles of qualitative data collected in the form of journal writings, transcripts, documents, field notes, most of which are quite hard to organize in comparison with quantitative findings, which are analysed with the help of a computer. While qualitative study data may come in form of written texts (field notes or documents), they can also be represented by visual and audible data (e. recordings of interviews). Records of data may be either dynamic or static. The dynamic record is known to change through time.
It takes the place of specific data and consequently becomes the data. Recordings used are video (these are used for recording sign language), audio (these are used for recording spoken language), video plus audio (provides a recording of the combination of spoken language and accompanying body language or gestures, facial expressions, etc). Recordings then get transcribed from spoken into written form and studied in detail either connected to analytic codes or coded. Transcribing data has long been used in qualitative research. In the past, data was transcribed for the purposes of making it available for broader audiences.
At that time distribution of tapes was either unpractical or impossible. Another reason was transcribed spoken data enabled the researcher to get a good overview while reading and browsing data. Today transcribed spoken data is used since researchers want to have a good overview of it; want to have it searchable (thanks to the previously unavailable software); want to tag their data grammatically, and embark on more interesting searches. The aspect of making data available to broader audiences is less important.
The transcribed corpus has been used for different purposes in linguistic research. Corpus or corpora (in plural) is “ a collection of linguistic data, either compiled as written texts or as a transcription of recorded speech” , whose key purpose is “ to verify a hypothesis about language - for example, to determine how the usage of a particular sound, word, or syntactic construction varies. ”
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