LINGUIST List 10.1848

Wed Dec 1 1999

Sum: Query 10.1759 Air Traffic Controller Language

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Raija Solatie, for Query:10.1759:Air Traffic Controller Language

Message 1: for Query:10.1759:Air Traffic Controller Language

Date: Mon, 29 Nov 99 14:23:55 PST
From: Raija Solatie <>
Subject: for Query:10.1759:Air Traffic Controller Language

Dear Colleagues,

First of all I want to thank everybody who took contact with me to
help me with my project concerning the air traffic language. My first
impression of the messages is that the problems of this special kind
of language have already woken some interest in several countries of
the world. So, I am not the first one to do research on it. The air
traffic language is very special in its formulation and its
regulation. I would say, that it is not clearly a pure language at
all. It is rather a manner of communication with its own special
syntax, semantics and phonological system. I also have good
possiblities to get involve in almost every kind of its problems,
because my brother is an air traffic controller who just works as
Head, ATC-section in the Civil Aviation Administration in Helsinki,
doing statistics on complicated situations which cause dangerous
incidents in the air traffic. For exemple, we all have to remember the
terrible accident in Tenerife, in 1977, when 583 people were killed
because of misunderstandig of some words in communication between the
air traffic controller and the pilot. After that accident, the air
traffic language was put on research and some words were changed, so
as some syntactic structures. The task of a linguist is to explain
grammatical systems to his colleagues. He writes to his own public and
resolves linguistical problems puttings them in differents forms. But
the research on the "air traffic language" is a special case of study
for the linguist. When, finding some missing or negative points of
view in the whole system the language, he also can influence the use
of "air traffic language" in general and propose some modifications
for getting better the communication between them who work in human
relationships in our most developed manner of human contact, in our
possiblity to fly. For exemple, in the "air traffic language" you say
"negative" instead of "not".

I want to thank the followings persons who have helped me with my new project:

Immanuel Barshi
Isabelle Leglise
Joan Colman
Carson T. Schutze
Malcah Yaeger-Dror
Zouhair Maalej
Scott Delancey
Bob Kuhs
Kent Jones
Barry Schaffer
Alex Hoyet
Pim van der Eijk
Anthony Fox
Betsy MacCall
Hannele Dufva
Michael Dunn
Adrian Clynes
Susan Converse
Geoffrey Sampson
Carolyn Hartnett

>From Finland
Mrs Raija Solatie
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