How to, Transcription

How to measure pause length in CLAN

Measuring Pause Lengths

You may wish to measure the pauses within your data. Pauses are included in the transcript as numerical values placed between parentheses between speaker turns,

54 *ROS: and you have written (0.6) five six books⇗

55 (0.5)

56 *FRA: yeah

or within a speaker’s turn.

54 *ROS: and you have written (0.6) five six books⇗

To measure a pause length:

  1. locate the silence in the waveform at the bottom of the window
  2. mark out the section that corresponds to the silence
  3. Click on the black bar immediately above the waveform, until you see the same information displayed as you see in the screenshot.
  4. Q. What could the various sets of figures (W; D; C) represent?
  5. Q. Look at the length of the pause as notated in the transcript. Can you see where that information came from?*
  6. The values are usually added to a transcript rounded up or down to a ten of a second (0.2; 0.3; 0.4…etc). Micro-pauses rounded up or down to 0.1 second are usually marked as (.)


Included in the workshop materials is a file called Ex4-PauseLength.

Here, we’ve removed the pauses from the transcript. Can you locate the pause in the media, and using the black bar at the bottom of this page, measure the pause lengths. Add these to the transcript.

*Answer: W indicates the time displayed in the Window; D the Duration of what has been selected; C indicates the placement of the Cursor


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