British Journal of English Linguistics (BJEL)

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A Pragmatic Study of Weather Forecasting Reports (Published)

Weather forecasting is an application for predicting the condition of the atmosphere for a given location; such predictions are based on scientific resources and measurements i.e. factual information. However, these predictions are still assumptions, or forecasting, and therefore changeable. Hence, weather forecasters use different strategies to control the certainty of these predictions and mitigate the accuracy of their forecasting. In spite of the importance of this genre and the type of language exploited in it, it has not received enough research work attention, particularly from a pragmatic point of view. This has prompted this study to carry out such a kind of research work in an attempt to shed light on the main pragmatic aspects utilized in weather forecasting reports. Precisely, the study attempts to answer the question: what are the pragmatic aspects that characterize weather forecasting reports? In other words, the current study aims at finding out the pragmatic aspects exploited by weather forecasters and how these aspects help them control the accuracy of their reports. In accordance with these aims, it is hypothesized that weather forecasting reports, though based on scientific measurements are still changeable assumptions about the future (i.e. predictions). This entails that   the forecasters use certain pragmatic techniques to avoid being committed to the accuracy of these predictions. In order to achieve the aims and verifying or rejecting the hypothesis, a model is developed for the analysis of data under scrutiny. Additionally, a statistical analysis is conducted via means of the percentage equation to quantitative support the findings of the pragmatic analysis.  The most important findings yielded by those analyses reveal that the main pragmatic aspects utilized in weather forecasting reports are speech acts, presupposition, scalar implicature and hedging, and that predictions are global speech acts in weather forecasting.

Keywords: Speech Acts., Weather forecasting reports, hedges, pragmatic aspects, presupposition, scalar implicature

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