Designing the Radiotelephony Plain English Corpus (RTPEC): A specialized spoken English language corpus towards a description of aeronautical communications in non-routine situations

Keywords: corpus design; spoken corpus; aviation language; English for Specific Purposes

Abstract

Pilots and air traffic controllers need to undergo a specific English test in order to be granted a license for international operations. A language proficiency scale was developed to serve as a parameter to all aviation regulatory agencies throughout the world by targeting at the language produced specifically by air traffic controllers and pilots in radio communications when abnormal situations occur (ICAO 2010). However, there is a lack of empirical investigation which could shed light upon this particular register helping the users of the scale with its understanding. In an attempt to fill this gap, this paper outlines a compilation of an aeronautical communication corpus which contains transcriptions of exchanges between pilots and air traffic controllers in abnormal situations for research and pedagogical purposes. By presenting steps taken during the process, we intend to provide fellow researchers with data which may suit other purposes and yield further analyses, as well as enlighten similar investigations in the ESP field.

References

Adolphs, Svenja and Dawn Knight. 2010. Building a spoken corpus: What are the basics? In Anne O’Keeffe and Michael McCarthy eds. The Routledge Handbook of Corpus Linguistics. London: Routledge, 38–52.

Alderson, Charles. 2010. A survey of aviation English tests. Language Testing 27/1: 51–72.

Bieswanger, Markus. 2016. Aviation English: Two distinct specialised registers? In Christoph Schubert and Christina Sanchez-Stockhammer eds. Variational Text Linguistics: Revisiting Register in English. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 67–85.

Bocorny, Ana. 2008. Descrição das Unidades Especializadas Poliléxicas Nominais no Âmbito da Aviação: Subsídios para o Ensino de Inglês para Fins Específicos (ESP). Porto Alegre: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul dissertation.

Cresti, Emanuela. 2000. Corpus di Italiano Parlato (Vol. I). Firenze: Accademia della Crusca.

Estival, Dominique, Candace Farris and Brett Molesworth. 2016. Aviation English: A Lingua Franca for Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers. London: Routledge.

Gavioli, Laura. 2005. Exploring Corpora for ESP Learning. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Garcia, Angela. 2016. Air traffic communications in routine and emergency contexts: A case study of Flight 1549 ‘miracle on the Hudson’. Journal of Pragmatics 106: 57–71.

Haberland, Hartmut. 2010. Pragmatics as a component vs. pragmatics as a perspective of linguistics. Studies in Pragmatics 12: 54–68.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). 2001. Annex 10 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation: Aeronautical Telecommunications. Montreal: International Civil Aviation Organization.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). 2006. Aviation Occurrence Categories: Definitions and Usage Notes. Montreal: International Civil Aviation Organization.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). 2007. Manual of Radiotelephony DOC 9432-AN/925. Montreal: International Civil Aviation Organization.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). 2010. Manual of Implementation of the Language Proficiency Requirements (DOC9835-AN/453) (second edition). Montreal: International Civil Aviation Organization.

Lopez, Stephanie. 2013. Norme(s) et Usage(s) Langagiers: Le Cas des Communications Pilote-contrôleur en Anglais. Toulouse: Université Toulouse le Mirail dissertation.

Moder, C. Lynn. 2013. Aviation English. In Brian Paltridge and Sue Starfield eds. The Handbook of English for Specific Purposes. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 227–242.

Philps, Dennis. 1991. Linguistic security in the syntactic structures of air traffic control English. English World-Wide 12/1: 103–124.

Prado, Malila C. A. and Patricia Tosqui-Lucks. 2017. Are the LPRs focusing on real life communications issues? International Civil Aviation English Association. Dubrovnik: Embry-Riddle Scholarly Commons, 1–20. https://commons.erau.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1027&context=icaea-workshop (22 October, 2019.)

Rühlemann, Christoph. 2008. A register approach to teaching conversation: Farewell to standard English? Applied Linguistics 29/4: 672–693.

Sarmento, Simone. 2008. O Uso dos Verbos Modais em Manuais de Aviação em Inglês: Um Estudo Baseado em Corpus. Porto Alegre: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul dissertation.

Scott, Michael. 2016. Wordsmith Tools version 7. Liverpool: Lexical Analysis Software.

Sinclair, John. 2004. Trust the Text: Language, Corpus and Discourse. London: Routledge.

Tognini-Bonelli, Elena. 2001. Corpus Linguistics at Work. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Tosqui-Lucks, Patricia. 2018. Aplicações de corpora no ensino e na avaliação de inglês aeronáutico: Estado da arte, reflexões, direcionamentos. In Matilde Scaramucci, Patricia Tosqui-Lucks and Silvia M. Damião eds. Pesquisas sobre Inglês Aeronáutico no Brasil. Campinas: Pontes, 89–114.

Vaughan, Elaine Claire and Brian Clancy. 2013. Small corpora and pragmatics. In Jesús Romero-Trillo ed. Yearbook of Corpus Linguistics and Pragmatics. Dordrecht: Springer, 53–73.

Wood, David. 2006. Uses and functions of formulaic sequences in second language speech: An exploration of the foundations of fluency. Canadian Modern Language Review 63/1:13–33.

Wray, Alison and Michael R. Perkins. 2000. The functions of formulaic language. Language and Communication 20: 1–28.

Published
2019-11-06
How to Cite
C. A. Prado, M., & Tosqui-Lucks, P. (2019). Designing the Radiotelephony Plain English Corpus (RTPEC): A specialized spoken English language corpus towards a description of aeronautical communications in non-routine situations. Research in Corpus Linguistics, 7, 113-128. https://doi.org/10.32714/ricl.07.06