|Title||Transcribing infinity: Problems of context presentation|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Transcription, Context|
|Journal||Journal of Pragmatics|
This paper attempts to classify context types relevant to discourse pragmatics, and examines the theoretical and practical problems inherent in attempts to transcribe them. It argues that: (I) the quantity of context relevant to discourse pragmatics, being infinite in the two senses that it is infinitely delicate and infinitely expandable, is not capable of transcription; (a) transcription can become more delicate or more expansive, but as it does so it diminishes the amount of co-text it can represent, and there is thus a theoretical as well as practical limit to the amount of relevant detail that can be transcribed; (3) discourse pragmatics must distinguish context in the fictional examples of pragmatic philosophers and context in actual discourse, and abandon the claim to completeness and objectivity inherent in scientfic style transcription systems.