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

See all articles by Francesco Giunta

Francesco Giunta

University of Florence - Dipartimento di Scienze Aziendali

Christina Samson

University of Florence - Department of Education, Languages, Intercultural Studies, Literatures and Psychology

Laura Bini

University of Florence - Department of Business Administration

Date Written: August 1, 2016

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Giunta, Francesco and Samson, Christina and Bini, Laura, Let the Text Talk. A Corpus-Driven Analysis Approach to Investigate Accounting Narratives (August 1, 2016). European Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Sciences, Issue 89 September, pp. 81-96, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2912796

Francesco Giunta

University of Florence - Dipartimento di Scienze Aziendali ( email )

Piazza di San Marco, 4
Florence, 50121
Italy

Christina Samson (Contact Author)

University of Florence - Department of Education, Languages, Intercultural Studies, Literatures and Psychology ( email )

Via S. Reparata 93-95
Firenze, 50129
Italy

Laura Bini

University of Florence - Department of Business Administration ( email )

via delle Pandette, 9
Florence, Florence 50127
Italy

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