Risk communication is grounded in both rationality and emotion (Fischhoff & Kadvany 2011, Bo-holm & Corvellec 2014). Recent investigations have proved that emotions do affect risk and danger percep-tions by functioning as ‘mediators’ (Xie et al. 2011) and become important in decision-making. My study explores how emotion is induced by the National Transportation Safety Board of the United States of America (NTSB for short) to influence the mentalities and behaviours of its broad mixed audience and thus increase risk prevention. With that research purpose in mind, I examine an electronic corpus of over 500 online samples of fatal aviation dockets issued yearly online by the NTSB between the time span 2010-2015 and contained in its website databases. The emotional engagement deployed to mediate the perceptions of risk and danger by the general public constitutes a unique genre among all other world transportation agencies, since through informative vividness it pursues to activate the processes of memory, inference (i.e. judgement) and decision-making. I take Stubbs’ (2001) concept of ‘discursive prosody’ as point of departure and resort to a blended theoretical framework that combines Narratology, Corpus Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis, and Proximisation (Cap 2013) and Positioning (Harré & van Langenhove 1999) Theories. I will show that the NTSB’s emotional prosody is more rhetorical than lexical and that the narrative strategies of focalisation and speech representation play a salient role. To conclude I will reflect on some of the possible consequences of over-exploiting emotional engagement in risk communication.

Carmen Sancho Guinda
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid ETSI Aeronáutica y del Espacio Plaza del Cardenal Cisneros 3 28040-Madrid, Spain

CARMEN SANCHO GUINDA is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Applied Linguistics at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, where she teaches English for Academic and Professional Communication at the school of Aerospace Engineering and in-service seminars for engineering teachers willing to undertake English-medium instruction. Her research focus is the interdisciplinary study of academic and professional discourses and genres and innovation in the learning of academic competencies.

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