Let the Text Talk. A Corpus-Driven Analysis Approach to Investigate Accounting Narratives
European Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Sciences, Issue 89 September, pp. 81-96, 2016
Posted: 7 Feb 2017 Last revised: 14 Feb 2017
Date Written: August 1, 2016
The increasing importance of accounting narratives in corporate communications creates the need to find new investigation tools that enrich extant research in the field. This paper explores the potentialities of Corpus-Driven Linguistics (CDL) integrated with discourse analysis, an approach widely used in linguistics, but unexplored in the accounting domain. The automated nature of CDL, its theoretical basis in contextual and functional theory of meaning, its balanced quantitative and qualitative analyses are discussed in the paper. The aim is to point out how CDL can be added to other usually used methodologies to investigate narrative disclosure, such as readability formulas, keyword dictionaries, indexicals. To illustrate the main phases of a CDL analysis, a specialized corpus was created by collecting risk reviews published by FTSE MIB companies in 2009. Through the qualitative analysis of recurring clusters based on keyword frequency and concordances, the main features of the language used, when referring to risks in a period of crisis, are identified and discussed.
Keywords: Corpus-Driven Linguistics, Corporate Narratives, Disclosure measurement, MD&A, Risk disclosure
JEL Classification: M41, G31
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