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Article

Speech action grounds of algorithmic coding answers to an open-ended question: a case of defining a good institution

To reduce complexity and increase reliability of coding answers to open-ended questions are among the main targets of the survey methodology. Using the answers to an open-ended question recorded by the interviewers during a Russian national sample survey, the article demonstrates a procedure, which allows (1) explicating the syntactic-and-semantic structure of the answers, expected by the asked question designer, (2) reconstructing a repertoire of the questions, which were actually answered, (3) diagnosing communicative adequacy of the question as it was designed for a survey, (4) specifying instructions for interviewers how to record and for codifiers how to code the answers to an open-ended question, and (5) elaborating a comprehensive framework of school grammar categories to formal systematic (pre)coding answers to open-ended questions. The qualitative (logical-and-semantic) perspective on sample survey communication, it is shown, is extremely useful to grasp crucial differences between the respondents’ tongue(s) and the pollster’ one.