On “true” portraits of Letters to Shareholders – and the importance of phraseological analysis

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The purpose of the present paper is primarily methodological. It provides evidence that a research question investigated in a corpus can produce different results according to the software adopted, queries the comparability of the results, and shows that the whole picture is more than one piece of software can reveal. The field of research is a corpus of Letters to Shareholders referring to 2008, the year the current financial crisis began, compared to identically constructed corpora from the same companies, referring to 2006 and 2010. The paper argues that the macro analysis of key words and key semantic domains needs to be complemented by close phraseological analyses, since it is in the phraseology of the texts that the nuances of a message are to be found.


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