The Transcription and Representation of Spoken Political Discourse in the UK House of Commons

Michael Cribb, Shivani Rochford

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This paper considers the representation of spoken political discourse through the transcription practices of the House of Commons. It considers how the Hansard method of transcription represents the oral debates during the weekly parliamentary sessions of Prime Minister’s questions in three areas: lexical and grammatical fidelity, performance characteristics and interruptions from the audience. The paper also considers how accurately and faithfully speakers in the House quote from Hansard during these sessions as they pursue their arguments. The findings suggest that while Hansard does what it purports to do, modern transcription methods and digital representations necessitate additional tools to augment this system. We argue the case for a more representational, multi-tool approach to the transcription of discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of English Linguistics
Issue number2
Early online date23 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • political discourse
  • transcription
  • Hansard
  • representation
  • quotation
  • , prime minister’s questions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Sociology and Political Science


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