Action in time: ensuring timeliness for collaborative work in the airline cockpit

Maurice Nevile

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    52 Citations (Scopus)


    In the airline cockpit it is critical to say and do things at the appropriate time and in the appropriate order. When a pilot is responsible for initiating a next action but has not yet done so, the pilot NOT responsible can prompt or perform the action with talk that is prefaced with and. Rather than make conspicuous another's possible lapse, and-prefaced talk presents the not-yet-initiated action as timely and merely occurring routinely next in sequence. And occurs in talk for monitoring another's conduct and for maintaining accountability in the temporal organization of work by situating actions acceptably in time. This article points to the value of seeing grammatical forms as consequential for just how work gets done in particular settings, and especially for identifying local means of creating order for agenda-based activities. The article analyzes transcriptions of pilots interacting in the cockpit on actual scheduled passenger flights.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)233-257
    Number of pages25
    JournalLanguage in Society
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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