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The Study of Language for Aviation Purposes


Anna P. Borowska

The book presents the first comprehensive description of avialinguistics. The author analyses this new interdisciplinary branch of applied linguistics that recognises the role of language for aviation purposes. She provides an integrated approach to Aeronautical English and proffers insights into aviation discourse, discussing its current linguistic errors and providing suggestions for aviation English communication improvement. The author tests theoretical considerations against illustrative real-life examples so as to facilitate an interpretation of regular pilot-controller communications.

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Chapter 4: Linguistic Segmentation of Aeronautical English (AeE)


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Chapter 4 Linguistic Segmentation of Aeronautical English (AeE)

As mentioned in Chapters 1 and 2, Aeronautical English has been prescribed by the ICAO. The rules have been clearly formulated in the following regulatory documents:

1) ICAO Doc. 9432 Manual of Radiotelephony (2007),

2) ICAO Doc. 9835 Manual on the Implementation of ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements (2010),

3) ICAO Annex 10 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation: Aeronautical Telecommunications73, Volume II (2010).

Although standard phraseology leaves few doubts as to its recommended use, little has been said about the other AeE element, Plain Aviation English. Owing to substantial observations and analysis, this Chapter presents the current shape of AeE, not the prescribed model. ← 137 | 138 →

Our discussion has shown so far that aeronautical language consists of a number of signals that can be called linguistic forms. Similarly to other language types, by uttering a linguistic form, a speaker prompts his hearers to respond to a situation; this situation and the responses to it, are the linguistic meaning of the form that is constant and specific. However, if the forms are phonemically different, we suppose that their meanings are also different (Bloomfield 1961: 145–158). Aeronautical English, mainly as a spoken medium, relies on its sound. During interaction, only one person speaks at a time and there tends to be an avoidance of silence between speaking turns. Having at their disposal only voice and hearing, speakers...

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