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Explication of CLAN: software for the transcription, coding, analysis, and sharing of transcripts of conversations linked to either audio or video media, provided by Brian MacWhinney. In the context of the CHILDES and TalkBank projects, Brian MacWhinney and Leonid Spektor have developed the CLAN program which is free for download from In collaboration with Johannes Wagner, we are currently improving the useability of CLAN for CA transcription and working to develop a larger database of transcripts appropriate for CA analysis.

Key features of CLAN include:

  • free download of versions for either Mac or Windows from
  • free download of electronic manuals at for the programs, transcription format, and databases (but also please follow the "Ground Rules" listed there),
  • full support for linkage to any media that can be played by Quicktime (.wav, .mp3, .mov, .mpg., .mp2, etc.),
  • direct media playback from individual links or continuous playback with highlighting of active segments,
  • four alternative methods of linking to media (Transcriber spacing, Sound Walker roll back, Sound *wave highlighting, direct link editing),
  • keyboard shortcuts to special CA symbols,
  • automatic overlap alignment,
  • programs for export and import from ELAN, EXMARaLDA, Praat, Phon, and SALT,
  • export and import of sound clips to and from Praat
  • output formatting in Classic CA format,
  • a wide suite of programs for searching, coding, qualitative analysis, and quantitative analysis,
  • format and program compatibility with the largest corpora of data on spoken language in CHILDES (44 million words) and TalkBank (55 million words). All data and media are freely downloadable; although the segment on language in aphasia is password protected

The CHILDES and TalkBank Projects are supported by grants from NIH and NSF.