Transcribing and presenting video data from complex spatial environments

Activity: Talk or presentationConference presentation


While the challenges in transcribing and presenting video data have been discussed in CA literature, the discussion has mainly centered around questions related to the sequential unfolding and temporalities of multimodal action. What remains underexplored are questions connected to the presentation of interactional spaces.

We have encountered the challenges of visualizing interactional spaces in a research project in which we analyze the coordination of actions in complex work situations at construction sites. As built environments, construction sites are constantly evolving as they are literally ‘in the making’. Oftentimes, construction workers move a lot, and their movement in space can be consequential for the work-related interaction. Because of this, we analyze how the arrangement and movements of bodies in the workspaces are reflected in the multimodal design of social actions. Here, we recurrently face the need to visualize the participants’ movement in the physical environment to support the analysis and the presentation of our analytic observations. In this paper, we present and discuss some of the ways we have explored to graphically represent space and participants' movement in it in transcripts.

We base our methodological discussion on previous research on multimodal CA transcripts. Multimodal transcripts are usually presented in a written, i.e., linear, form that can be supported by pictures such as frame grabs of the analyzed videos (Mondada 2018). Also drawings have been utilized to add information about the interactional setting (see Goodwin, 2000), “chronotopic” transcripts (see McIlvenny, 2015) to visualize movement in space, and graphic transcripts (Laurier, 2014) to tell a coherent story of the unfolding of the interactional event. Our paper contributes to this ongoing methodological discussion on transcribing data from complex interactional settings in two ways: We discuss how visualizations can be used as a tool for the analysis and show how they support the presentation of data in publications.

Goodwin, C. (2000). Action and embodiment within situated human interaction. Journal of pragmatics, 32(10), 1489-1522.
Laurier, E. (2014). The graphic transcript: Poaching comic book grammar for inscribing the visual, spatial and temporal aspects of action. Geography Compass, 8(4), 235-248.

McIlvenny, P. (2015). The joy of biking together: Sharing everyday experiences of vélomobility. Mobilities, 10(1), 55-82.

Mondada, l. (2018), "Multiple Temporalities of Language and Body in Interaction: Challenges for Transcribing Multimodality", Research on Language and Social Interaction, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 85–106.
Period31 Oct 2022
Event titleDigital Meeting for Conversation Analysis
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational