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© Lee Harvey 2012–2019

Page updated 25 January, 2019

Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012–2019, Researching the Real World, available at
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A Guide to Methodology

CASE STUDY Standard and conversation analysis transcripts

Pilot in command (PIC) speaks to co-pilot (CP)

Basic transcription

TIME 1934.05
PIC to CP: we'll go down to forty-three hundred to there and if you can wind in thirty-four fifty and when we when we get over there wind in twenty-seven eighty that'll be the minimum we'll see how it looks for a giggle and you can put the steps in now too if you wouldn't mind but you only need to put the steps in below the lowest safe (non-pertinent transmissions)

Conversation analysis transcription


PIC we'll go down to fortythree hundred to there, (0.5) and if you c'n wind in thirtyfour fifty,


PIC and when we- (0.9) when we get over there wind in twentyseven eighty.


PIC ºthat'll be the minimumº.


PIC see how it looks.


PIC just for a ^giggle, (6.4) PIC ah::: you c'n put the steps in there too if you wouldn't mind.


Nevile and Walker (2005, p. 6) highlight the key differences by suggesting that the conversation analysis transcript does the following:

  • represents the pilot in command's talk as a number of separate turns, rather than as one long turn - the breaks in talk, shown on separate lines as periods of silence between turns, represent points where the co-pilot could have heard the pilot in command's talk as complete in some way, and so the co-pilot could have taken a turn to talk (e.g., even if just to say 'yeah' or okay');
  • shows and times all silences, and their lengths in seconds, both within and between the pilot in command's turns e.g., (1.8);
  • shows details of the manner of talk, including changes in pitch…and intonation that is falling (.) or slightly rising (,)
  • also talk which relative to surrounding talk is...quieter ("ºminimumº"), or faster (">but you only need<"), or slower ("<below the lowest safe>"), and shows talk that is lengthened ("ah:::"), or cut-off ("we- "), or repeated ("when we- (0.9) when we");
  • includes overheard radio talk i.e. an ATC transmission directed to another flight, as part of the communicative environment in which the pilots are working; and
  • includes the token "ah".

Source: Nevile and Walker (2005)


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