Tag Archives: Corpus Linguistics

Archaisms In Legal Contracts- A Corpus-Based Analysis (Published)

Language is particularly significant in law because it is through it that law finds expression. From formulation to interpretation and enforcement, law exclusively depends on language. Legal contract is notorious for formalities and unchanging nature, especially with the use of archaic words and formulaic expressions is an important genre of legal English. Although the formalities afford lawyers opportunity to achieve “precision”, they constitute a serious challenge for the layman. This study examined the frequency, structure, and meaning of archaisms to argue that the elements are operational tools in legal contracts. The data for the study were derived from ten purposively sampled legal contracts (scanned and converted to electronic-version) of about 7116 words of the Akure Judicial Division of Ondo State Nigeria. With corpus linguistics methodologies, using register analysis within the purview of Systemic Functional Grammar, the study adopted the content analysis methodology to identify archaisms in the legal contracts, and to quantitatively and qualitatively analysis the data. The study found 20 archaisms of 4 categories occurring 187 times (2.6%) of the total number of words to justify the  claim that archaisms, which are no more found in general English usage, are still very much in use in legal documents, especially contracts. This study concluded that archaisms which according to lawyers, are used to lend a touch of formality and precision to legal language, should give way to modern words which can serve both lawyers’ and non-lawyers’ needs.

Keywords: Archaisms, Content analysis, Corpus Linguistics, Language, Legal Contract, Register Analysis

Discourse Pointing Devices in Newspaper Editorials (Published)

Deixis (the use of this, that and other pointing devices) in English has its discursive and referential values which are determined by the context of situation. In this study, I examined the use of the (English) deixis, as a discourse pointing device, to argue that the language situation in operation, could determine deictic usage. Using corpus linguistics methodologies, the study purposively sampled three consecutive months’ editions (January 1– March 31, 2017) of four online newspaper editorials from: Canada, Jamaica, Nigeria and the UK, where different language situations exist. In analysing the data, the newspaper editorials corpus was subjected to AntConc Concordance Tool, to identify and classify the deictic markers into types and through simple statistics determined the frequency of use on paper and country bases to show variation (if any). The major significance of the study is to help in understanding the working of language in its environment of operation and in presupposing the usage of language in the different contexts of situations.

Keywords: Corpus Linguistics, Deixis, Discourse Pointing, Editorial, context of situation

Conflicts as Causes to Change News Foci Frequency Analysis for Asharq Al-Awsat and Al-Khaleej Newspapers Before and After the Arab Spring (Published)

The Arab Media, both pan-Arab and national, have helped people in the Arab world to achieve a greater amount of freedom and liberty in the last two decades. This was observed in 2011, when the Arab region witnessed a series of revolutions and protests that not only affected the Middle East and North Africa, but also the whole world. This study uses a new 19.5-million word corpus of newspaper articles published between 2009 and 2013 to examine the main discussed themes in Asharq Al-Awsat (a pan-Arab newspaper) and Al-Khaleej (a UAE national newspaper). Using the corpus linguistic technique of frequency, this study shows that the focus of the two newspapers in 2011, the year when most of the protests began and ended, was similar in spite of the differences in their agendas and policies. This study concludes that the occurrence of an event that affects most of the Arab countries has an impact on the type and style of Arab national newspaper coverage.

Keywords: Corpus Linguistics, Newspapers, frequency analysis, the Arab Spring, the Arabic language