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An analysis of flight announcers’ language at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos

Bereton-aye Esther Ugboko
Charles Ogbulogo


Hearing an announcement made over the loud speaker in any Nigerian airport leaves most hearers with the impression that the announcer has an excellent command of English. There are however some listeners, mostly travellers that claim that they barely hear or understand what is being announced. This is a serious challenge since air travel is a global phenomenon that requires the highest level of intelligibility. This study thus aims to investigate the pronunciation pattern in the language of flight announcers at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, in line with the Labov's theory of Linguistic Variation. Data was elicited from ten flight announcers, through purposive sampling; using a questionnaire and reading test. Output of the reading test was recorded, phonetically transcribed and analyzed using descriptive statistics. The result showed that exposure to native speakers, age of respondents and years of working experience, affects correct pronunciation. It also showed that most flight announcers approximate the English phonemes with what is obtainable in their mother tongue while some others exhibited cases of dialectically influenced personal speech handicap.

Keywords: Flight announcers, intelligibility, linguistic variation, pronunciation pattern

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eISSN: 1596-8308