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Linguistic Factors in Cockpit Communication Manfred Krifka Humboldt Universität, Berlin collaborating with: Silka Martens Florian Schwarz Carrie Clarady.

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Presentation on theme: "Linguistic Factors in Cockpit Communication Manfred Krifka Humboldt Universität, Berlin collaborating with: Silka Martens Florian Schwarz Carrie Clarady."— Presentation transcript:

1 Linguistic Factors in Cockpit Communication Manfred Krifka Humboldt Universität, Berlin collaborating with: Silka Martens Florian Schwarz Carrie Clarady

2 Research on Cockpit Communication: Some Background Social dynamics of group interaction as an important factor in the origin of accidents and in the success of dealing with accident-prone situations (cf. Robert Helmreich, Managing Human Error in Communication, Scientific American 1997.) Crew Resource Management (CRM): Rating and improving of crew performance in aviation and other fields in which professional groups interact in situations with high task load. But over and above the general social dynamics of group interaction, there are specific problems relating to language and communication in such settings.

3 Cockpit Communication Possible areas of research: Problems of language (e.g., the structure of human language, features of the technical language). Problems of communication (that is, problems of language use)

4 Cockpit Communication: Problems of Language Cf. Stephen Cushing (1994), Communication Clashes and Aircraft Crashes. Misunderstanding of We are now at takeoff implied in Tenerife accident in 1977 Problems of sentence parsing: [back [on the power]] [[back on] [the power]] Problems of phonological identification: climb to five zero climb two five zero

5 Cockpit Communication: Problems of Communication Mitigation of contributions especially by the lower-ranked pilot (First Officer or Engineer) for face-serving purposes. Not very much more fuel. (Engineer to Captain five minutes before engine stopped, United Airlines, Portland, 1978) (cf. Charlotte Linde, The quantitative study of communicative success: Politeness and accidents in aviation discourse, Language in Society 17)

6 Cockpit Communication: Research Techniques Observation of real situations Transcripts of communication before and during accidents (recorded by Black Box and published by National Transportation Safety Board) Observation and ratings of communication of regular flights. Important data, but difficult to come up with generalization from particular cases. Observation of communication in flight simulators Experimental scenarios. Similar scenarios for different crews. Advanced simulator techniques guarantee closeness to reality. But: Simulator sessions extremely costly.

7 Group Interaction in High Risk Environments: Linguistic Factors GIHRE Subproject, sponsored by Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz Foundation. First project phase at Department of Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin, with Carrie Clarady.

8 Linguistic Factors: First Project Phase Basic Questions: Correlation: Task Load Communicative Behavior Correlation: Crew Performance Communicative Behavior

9 Linguistic Factors: First Project Phase Data: Simulation flights on B727 with similar scenario, carried out by NASA, 1987 Transcribed by University of Texas Aerospace Crew Research Project(thanks to Bob Helmreich and Brian Sexton) Every flight has 4 transcribed segments: A: climbout from SF, descent and landing into SAC: Medium task load. B: Descent, approach and landing at LAX, with runaway trim, jammed stabilizer, low oil pressure: High task load. C: Descent to SAC, missed approach: Medium task load. D: Diversion to SJC, with hydraulic malfunction, diversion to SFC, split flap malfunctio: High task load. Performance of crews and crew members was rated We investigated 5 (+ 1/2) flights (2 well-performing crews, 3 poorly performing crews) (alltogether 9 hours, 6900 thought units)

10 Communication Density: Thought Units per minute, Crew 4 Segment A Segment B Segment C Segment D No difference in speech time well-performing / poorly performing crews

11 Factors Presentation of Data: Segments:AMedium (task load) B C DHigh (task load) Crews:3Poor (crews) 4 5 8 13Good (crews) Data are given in proportion to thought units (chosen by transcribers)

12 Speaker and Addressee Role per Thought Unit Captain assumes speaker role most often. Engineer assumes speaker role more often in high task-load segments.

13 Speaker and Addressee Role per Thought Unit Engineer is adressed more often in high task-load segments.

14 Reference to Participants Slightly more reference to group in good crews, high task loads cf. Sexton, J.B. & Helmreich, R.L. (2000). Analyzing cockpit communication. The links between language, performance, error, and workload. Human Performance in Extreme Environments 5, 63-68.

15 Speech Act Classification Question: Correlation Task Load / Group Performance Speech Acts? Classical Speech Act Classification: Austin, Searle. Representatives commit the speaker to truth of proposition, e.g. asserting, concluding; degree of commitment can vary, e.g. saying, hypothesizing; may relate to other parts of discourse, e.g. replying Directives speaker tries to get the addressee to do something, e.g. requesting, questioning; degrees can vary, e.g. suggesting, commanding Commissives commit the speaker to an action, e.g. promising, threatening, offering degrees can vary, e.g. promising, guaranteeing Expressives express a psychological state, e.g. thanking, apologizing, welcoming Declarations changes the institutional state of affairs, e.g. baptizing, marrying, declare a person guilty

16 Problems of Speech Act Classification Existing classifications are difficult to apply Difference between form and meaning –Direct command: Close the door. (Command : Imperative) –Indirect command: The door should be closed. (Command : Declarative) –Indirect command: Why dont you close the door? (Command : Question) –Very indirect command: Its cold in here. (not a command, but a statement (*please), but may have similar action implications as commands)

17 Problems of Speech Act Classification 2 Individuating speech acts –ABC 801, that turn looks like its going to take you through, so continue the right turn to 180. (Command, or Assertion + Command, or Attention-Call + Assertion + Command?) –[8.1530] Im on the air, so you get it. (Command, or Assertion + Command, or Motivated Command?) Neglect of communication-regulating acts –Call for attention, acknowledgements, repetitions etc. do not figure prominently in speech act classifications –Some investigation of such features in Conversation Analysis (Reference)

18 Problems of Speech Act Classification 3 Multi-dimensional nature of speech acts –A question can be related to a statement, a command, a prior statement, etc.: Whats the weather like in Sacramento? What should I do now? What did you say? –A command can be related to an action, a statement, a question, a prior statement, etc.: Now you fly the airplane. Tell me whats the weather like in Sacramento. Ask him what the weather is like in Sacramento. Tell me again, please.

19 Our Speech Act Classification A pragmatic approach: What is potentially predictive for crew performance? Does not follow formal, but functional criteria, if the intended function is clear. Why dont we go to the book and see what you can do on it? is classified as a command, not a question. Classifies each previously identified thought unit as belonging to one speech act category.

20 Our Speech Act Classification (2) Combines speech act types (e.g., assertion of a proposition) with content features (e.g., report of action, report of previous report, prognosis, diagnosis) Factors out classification of question / answer: You got any problems classified as statement / question You want me to brief with you? as command / question Assumes a category of regulatives that are concerned with the proper flow of information

21 Speech Act Categories Searles Classificaiton Represen- tatives Directives Commissives Expressives Regulatives

22 Examples of Speech Act Types Status Reports –[4.17] UH ROGER UH WE ARE OUT AT 1443 AND OFF AT 53 FROM SAN FRANCISCO –[4.62] UH, ABC 801, BE ADVICED THE METER LOCATOR OUTER MARKER IS UNRELIABLE, ILL CALL YOU AT METER –[8.28] WE HAVE AN UNDEREXCITED FAULT LIGHT ON, UH, NUMBER 3 –[8.89] OKAY, WERE COMING TO 350 DESCENDING TO 5, ABC 801 Reports of Action –[4.75] I KEEP LOOKING FOR THE ALTITUDE RIGHT HERE AND SEE 801 –[4.111] ILL PUT IT ON THE MISSED APPROACH ALTITUDE Reports of Report –[4.461] WELL, HE TOLD US BE READY FOR ILS 24 RIGHT –(Not used for reciting from manuals, or relaying information in general) Prognoses –[4.373] OKAY, SO I THINK IF WE DO THE TWO ENGINE, THE TWO GENERATOR OPERATION THATLL BE UH, THE NEXT THING. Diagnoses –[8.111] I THINK WHAT THAT LIGHT WAS, WAS WHEN THAT FIELD, FILED RELAY TRIPPED.

23 Examples of Speech Act Types 2 Commands –[8.94] HEY, WITH THIS FAULT LIGHT, WOULD YOU SWITCH ESSENTIAL POWER OFF OF NUMBER 3, PLEASE FOR ME –[8.212] ABC 801, THAT TURN LOOKS LIKE ITS GOING TO TAKE YOU THROUGH, SO CONTINUE THE RIGHT TURN TO 180 –[8.356] PRESS ON –[8.64] OKAY, NOW YOU FLY THE AIRPLANE –[8.224] WHY DON'T YOU MAKE IT 190. –[8.305] FINAL FLAPS SHOULD BE 30 Permissions –[8.19] UNITED 801S CLEARED FOR TRAFFIC. YOU CAN DESCENT AT PILOTS DISCRETION. –[8.15] OH, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO HERE, BOB Complies –[8.414] [HOW ABOUT THAT BRAKE? NOW TRY IT.] NO. Report of Intention –[8.32] MEANWHILE ILL TAKE CARE OF THE APPROACH/DESCENT HERE –[8.63] WELL…WELL TAKE CARE OF THAT

24 Examples of Speech Act Types 3 Expressives –[4.185] UH, SHIT –[8.639] LITTLE DEVIL –[8.904] BOY THAT IS A LOT OF PRESSURE –[8.989] GREAT, EXCELLENT, NO, EXCELLENT –[8.1019] COME ON, BABY, COME AROUND HERE Acknowledgements –[4.13] [ABC 801, EXPECT ILS 16 APPROACH TO SACRAMENTO] OKAY. –[8.410] [IL JUST CRANK IT AND YOU TELL ME WHEN TO STOP]. YEAH. Affirmations –[8.1075] [WELL WE GOT… WERE COMMITTED TO THE RIGHT] THATS RIGHT –[8.1120] [CANTT DO IT] NO [AGREEMENT]. –[8.1169] [SHOULDNT BE THAT MUCH OF A PROBLEM]. NOPE, NO NO NO. Rephrases –[8.50] [ONE SIX RIGHT, APPROACH.] ONE SIX RIGHT, YEAH. –[8.1640] [GROUND SPOILERS, OUT SPOILERS] OUT SPOILERS.

25 Speech Act Classification More prognoses / diagnoses in well-performing crews.

26 Speech Act Classification More reports of intention in well-performing crews.

27 Speech Act Classification Slightly more questions in well-performing crews. More questions are answered in well-performing crews (0.54 in poorly performing crews, 0.77 in well performing crews)

28 Speech Act Classification Fewer commands in well-performing crews. Fewer explicit complies in well-performing crews.

29 Speech Act Classification Fewer expressives and emotional words in well-performing crews. Fewer expressives and emotinal words in situations of high task load for poorly performing crews.

30 Limitations of Study Correlation Segements / Task Load only very coarse. Number of crews analyzed far too low for any significance measure. Quality of transcripts rather varied, e.g. no information about paralinguistic features. Information about flight scenario and precise timing of malfunctions was rather limited. Revisions of speech act categories necessary. No classification of higher-order features of communication.

31 Examples of features that were not encoded Multiple rephrases (Crew 8) [8.146]E-C:CLIMB TO 500 FEET, PROCEED DIRECT SACRAMENTO VOR. HOLD SOUTH 180 RADIAL, 5,000 FEET. C-E:5,000? E-C:YEAH. C-E:AFTER 500, DIRECT TO VOR TO HOLD? E-C:RIGHT. C-E:OKAY, GOT IT Invoking Crew Resources [8.1511] YOU CAN, YOU CAN LISTEN WITH ME, I MIGHT MISUNDERSTAND. [8.2167] WHAT ELSE? WHAT HAVE WE MISSED? Prioritizing goals (Crew 8) [8.368] WE WON'T WORRY ABOUT ANY OF THAT STUFF. [8.2007] F-C:I'M WORRIED ABOUT THE GAS. WE'RE PISSIN' OUT 15,000 POUNDS AN HOUR. C-F:DON'T WORRY. F-C:OK. C-F:I'LL TELL YA WHEN TO WORRY.

32 New Project Phase (June 2001 - ) Data: Flight simulator data, but with a much more constrained scenario in which communication skills are crucial

33 Flight Simulator Scenario Developed by Gerd Fahnenbruck, carried out by Lufthansa CityLine on Canadair Regional Jet Circling approach due to glide slope failure, runway has to be approached from unusual direction, a plane is blocking the runway, fly a go around Normal second approach, break down of glide slope requiring constant communication about altitude Take-off followed by double instrument failure requiring constant communication about conflicting values

34 Data, Transcripts, Analysis Video data (4 cameras) and audio data available 16 flights, average length 53 minutes Identification of three segments with different types of task load across crews. Careful transcriptions, including features of prosody, intonation, pauses Refined system of speech act classification, following Qualitative Development Analysis (T. Diegritz & C. Fürst, Empirische Sprechhandlungsforschung. Erlangen 1999):

35 Example: Steps of analysis (QVA)

36 so. wie weit sin mer? flaps ham wir twenty. So. How far are we? As for the flaps we have 20.

37 Example: Steps of analysis so. wie weit sin mer? flaps ham wir twenty. So. How far are we? As for the flaps we have 20. Description

38 Example: Steps of analysis so. wie weit sin mer? flaps ham wir twenty. So. How far are we? As for the flaps we have 20. Description After initiating the utterance with the particle so Captain utters a question with rising intonation. Directly after this, as the captain is looking at the instrument panel, he utters a statement with strongly rising intonation.

39 Example: Steps of analysis so. wie weit sin mer? flaps ham wir twenty. So. How far are we? As for the flaps we have 20. Description Division in speech acts

40 Example: Steps of analysis so. wie weit sin mer? flaps ham wir twenty. So. How far are we? As for the flaps we have 20. Description Division in speech acts There are three subsequent illocutionary acts: so wie weit sin mer flaps man wir twenty

41 Example: Steps of analysis so. wie weit sin mer? flaps ham wir twenty. So. How far are we? As for the flaps we have 20. Description Division in speech acts Context

42 Example: Steps of analysis so. wie weit sin mer? flaps ham wir twenty. So. How far are we? As for the flaps we have 20. Description Division in speech acts Context Reading back: Due to the instrument failure, first officer informs captain that he can only fly in stand-by mode. Captain agrees that it would be best not to split up the tasks but to let first officer fly alone in stand-by mode. Captain remarks that he can still help a little bit.

43 Example: Steps of analysis so. wie weit sin mer? flaps ham wir twenty. So. How far are we? As for the flaps we have 20. Description Division in speech acts Context Explicit interpretative verbalization

44 Example: Steps of analysis so. wie weit sin mer? flaps ham wir twenty. So. How far are we? As for the flaps we have 20. Description Division in speech acts Context Explicit interpretative verbalization We have made it clear how we will proceed. Let us check the current state, to see how far we are in respect to the planned approach with the instrument failure. I will go ahead and check the flaps, which are 20.

45 Example: Steps of analysis so. wie weit sin mer? flaps ham wir twenty. So. How far are we? As for the flaps we have 20. Description Division in speech acts Context Explicit interpretative verbalization Perlocutionary effects

46 Example: Steps of analysis so. wie weit sin mer? flaps ham wir twenty. So. How far are we? As for the flaps we have 20. Description Division in speech acts Context Explicit interpretative verbalization Perlocutionary effects First officer reacts with a confirming ja.

47 Example: Steps of analysis so. wie weit sin mer? flaps ham wir twenty. So. How far are we? As for the flaps we have 20. Description Division in speech acts Context Explicit interpretative verbalization Perlocutionary effects Aspects of development

48 Example: Steps of analysis so. wie weit sin mer? flaps ham wir twenty. So. How far are we? As for the flaps we have 20. Description Division in speech acts Context Explicit interpretative verbalization Perlocutionary effects Aspects of development Thematic progression Captain marks a thematic break by ending the previous sequence of clarification and going on to deal with the problem himself. Relational development Captain integrates first officer actively and cooperatively in the problem solving process, by asking himself and the first officer and by answering his own question.

49 Example: Steps of analysis so. wie weit sin mer? flaps ham wir twenty. So. How far are we? As for the flaps we have 20. Description Division in speech acts Context Explicit interpretative verbalization Perlocutionary effects Aspects of development Assigning speech act type

50 Example: Steps of analysis so. wie weit sin mer? flaps ham wir twenty. So. How far are we? As for the flaps we have 20. Description Division in speech acts Context Explicit interpretative verbalization Perlocutionary effects Aspects of development Assigning speech act type So.STRUCTURING SIGNAL I indicate that I am about to start a speech act and that the previous discussion is over.

51 Example: Steps of analysis so. wie weit sin mer? flaps ham wir twenty. So. How far are we? As for the flaps we have 20. Description Division in speech acts Context Explicit interpretative verbalization Perlocutionary effects Aspects of development Assigning speech act type Wie weit sin mer? QUESTION(INFORMATION) I ask you and myself about the current state of events.

52 Example: Steps of analysis so. wie weit sin mer? flaps ham wir twenty. So. How far are we? As for the flaps we have 20. Description Division in speech acts Context Explicit interpretative verbalization Perlocutionary effects Aspects of development Assigning speech act type Flaps ham wir twenty. ASSERT WITH EVIDENCE (Feststellung) I state that the flaps are twenty (and I have direct evidence for it)

53 Features of our Speech Act System Two further aspects of the speech act system we are developing: - Speech Act Types - Dialogue Structure

54 Dialogue Segment (4) 906 Fio:ja (5) 906 Fio: dann warten wa bis auf n intercept (6) 907 Cap: weißte wir sollten alles raussetzen. gear down und flaps thirty. (7) 907 Cap: dann ham wa das schon (8) 909 Cap: is keen problem für uns (9) 909 Cap: okay? (10) 911 Fio:.hh hmm (11) 913 Fio: ich bin mir nich sicher ehrlich gesacht. (12) 913 Fio: aber gut. versuchn wa s mal SA# Line #

55 Examples: Speech Act Types (4)Confirmation (BESTÄTIGUNG) (5)Suggestion (VORSCHLAG) (6)Suggestion (VORSCHLAG) (7)Giving reasons (BEGRÜNDUNG) (8)Statement (FESTSTELLUNG/BEHAUPTUNG) (9)Request for reply/confirmation (HÖRERRÜCKMELD. FORDERUNG) (10)Signal of doubt (ÜBERLEG/ ZWEIFEL ANZEIG) (11) Objecting/Doubting (ANZWEIFELN/EINWENDEN) (12)Conceding/Confirmation (ZUGESTEHEN/ BESTÄTIGUNG)

56 STACK 8 Classes of Speech Act Types: I. Information II. Requests (direct/indirect) III. Agreement/Negotiation IV. Dissent V. Question types VI. Expressives VII. Interaction markers VIII.Others

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60 Hierarchical Structure of Speech Acts Initial Reactive Reinitiative Accepting Problematic Rejective StatementsConfirming DoubtingRefuting Insisting (also:Conceding Objecting Prognosis Report etc.) Assertives

61 Structural Dialogue Analysis (Franke 1990) Analysis of sequential embedding in the communicative context Analysis of dialogue types (well defined sequences of speech acts) Basic unit: minimal dialogue

62 Structural Dialogue Analysis (Franke 1990) With an initial speech act (ISA), speaker 1 states a communicative goal Speaker 2 can accept or reject this goal For different ISAs there are well-defined sets of possible answers

63 Structural Dialogue Analysis (Franke 1990) Examples: Sp2 Sp1answer 1answer 2 questionanswer refuse to answer assertionagree refute suggestionaccept reject Further option: counter-initiative speech act

64 Options for speaker 1 in the 3rd move (in response to a rejecting or counter-initiative second move): Retractive SA(RETSA)give up original goal Revised SA(REVSA)modify original goal Re-initiative SA(REISA)repeat the same goal Structural Dialogue Analysis (Franke 1990)

65 Dialogue Structure in our Data Segment SA#structural type of SA 5initial speech act (ISA) 6-9counter-initiative speech act (GISA) 10-11re-initiative speech act (REISA) 12retractive speech act (RETSA)

66 Outlook on application of Dialogue Structures Assigning a structural type to speech acts enables us to represent a different dimension of dialogue The different ways that the crews speech acts relate to each other is an indicator of their communicative behavior This type of extended speech act theory allows us to make a quantitative comparison of aspects of dialogue structure with crew performance ratings


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