LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS OF ENGLISH PHRASEOLOGY AND PLAIN LANGUAGE IN AIR-GROUND COMMUNICATIONS

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Stéphanie Lopez

Keywords

Air Traffic Control, Language for Specific Purposes (LSP), Corpora, Linguistic Comparative Analysis

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to describe the different uses of English phraseology and plain language within pilot-controller (or air-ground) communications via a comparative study between two collections of texts (corpora): one representing the prescribed norm and made up of examples of English from two phraseology manuals; the other consisting of the orthographic transcription of recordings of real air-ground communications. The comparative study is conducted at a lexical level. It focuses on the discrepancies observed in the distribution of the corpora lexicon. Our preliminary results indicate that, in real air-ground communications, pilots and controllers tend to use more “subjectivity” markers (pronouns, courtesy expressions) than prescribed by the linguistic norm. This observation reflects their needs to use the language in its social role. A description of the different markers introducing subjectivity in air-ground communication can help understand the use of a more natural language in radiotelephony. In the long run, the results from the comparative study can be used to improve English radiotelephony teaching.

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