The transcription of COSER materials reflects three types of information and each has its own conventions for indicating it:

Conversation tags

A set of tags is used to reflect the turns of speech and the various circumstances of the conversation, without any claim to completeness, as the analysis of the conversation is not part of the primary objectives of COSER.


Interviewer I E1:
Interviewer II E2:
Interviewer III E3:
Interviewer IV E4:
Interviewer E:


Informant I I1:
Informant II I2:
Informant III I3:
Informant IV I4:
Informant I:

Name [NP: ]
Nickname [Mote: ]

The [NP: ] tag hides the informants' names, to avoid disclosure in the publication of the materials.

Overlaps: simultaneous speech and background voices

Simultaneous speech E1 [HS:E1 ]
Simultaneous speech E2 [HS:E2 ]
Simultaneous speech E3 [HS:E3 ]
Simultaneous speech E4 [HS:E4 ]
Simultaneous speech E [HS:E ]
Simultaneous speech I1 [HS:I1 ]
Simultaneous speech I2 [HS:I2 ]
Simultaneous speech I3 [HS:I3 ]
Simultaneous speech I4 [HS:I4 ]
Simultaneous speech I [HS:I ]
Simultaneous speech [HS: ]
Crosstalk [HCruz: ]
Other overlaps [HSim-O: ]
Simultaneous [V-Sml]
Distant Voices [V-Ljn]
Murmurs [V-Mrm]
Others [V-Otr]

In all these tags reflecting overlaps between participants in the conversation or the environment, only the beginning of the overlap is indicated, which is inserted in the moment when the overlap begins. It is therefore not necessary to mark the end of the simultaneous interventions, usually that of the interviewer and the informant, since the analysis of the conversation is not the primary objective in the elaboration of the COSER.
The [HCruz: ] tag is reserved for those cases in which an unexpected participant, who is not involved in the main conversation, arrives and is suddenly addressed by the informant.


Emphatic [P-Enf: ]
Relaxed [P-Rel: ]
Whispered [P-Ssr: ]
Enunciated [P-Slb: ]
Others [P-Otr: ]

Vocal emissions

Assent [Asent]
Laughters [RISAS]
Laughter [RISA]
Laughing while speaking [Rndo: ]
Crying while speaking [Llndo: ]
Exclamations [EXCL]
Cough [TOS]
Throat clearing [CARRASP]
Click [CHASQ]
Onomatopoeia [ONOM]
Breathing [RESPIR]
Others [OTRAS-EM]

Vowel or consonant lengthening within a word is not transcribed. When the lengthening occurs in the final vowel or consonant, it is marked with ellipses. For example: Cómooo is transcribed Cómo… Prosodic features such as rising, falling or held intonation are also not marked.

All assenting or phatic sounds (ajá, hum, mm, etc) are marked with the [Asent] tag.

Onomatopoeias are indicated by the [ONOM] tag after the sound has been transcribed with the conventional spelling.


Ahora, ahora la música, traen las músicas esas de bom, bom, bom..., bom, bom, bom [ONOM].
Al día... totó, totó..., [ONOM] otra cosa no hacía, eh, desde las nueve que se levantaba hasta las once la noche, así...

The [OTRAS-EM] tag indicates all indistinct sounds uttered by the informant or the interviewer, whether they are spoken planning pauses (in indistinct vowels that cannot be recognised as suspensive lengthening after a word) or consonant sounds, snorts, etc. In the latter case, [OTRAS-EM] will be preceded by the transcription of the sound in question, according to the following conventions: Bah, puf, prr, brr, pss, chss.

Pauses and silence

Pause [PS]
Pause lapse [PS: ]
Silence [SLNC]

External emissions and interruptions

Informant's hit [R-Inf]
Vehicle noise [R-Vhc]
Animal noise [R-Anm]
Voices noise [R-Vcs]
House noise [R-Cas]
Door(s) noise [R-Prt]
Knock(s) [R-Glp]
Music noise [R-Mus]
Bell noise [R-Cmp]
Wind noise [R-Vnt]
Telephone noise [R_Tlf]
Paper noise [R-Ppl]
Recorder noise [R-Grb]
Microphone noise [R-Mcr]
Undetermined noise [R-Ind]

Movements and gestures

Demonstrative [G-Mst]
Imitative [G-Imt]
General [G-Gnr]
Others [G-Otr]

Recording intelligibility

Unintelligible [A-Inn]
Barely intelligible [A-PIn: ]
Inaudible [A-Nul]
Barely audible [A-Pau]
Recording cut [A-Crt]
Recording error [A-Err]

Oral literature and traditions

Story [LT-Rlt: ]
Recitation [LT-Rct: ]
Song [LT-Cnt: ]
Saying [LT-Rfn: ]
Others [LT-Otr: ]