Corpus-based critical discourse analysis as a method of exploring underlying ideologies and self-representation strategies in legal texts

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Corpus-based critical discourse analysis as a method of exploring underlying ideologies and self-representation strategies in legal texts. / Potts, Amanda; Kjær, Anne Lise.

2014. Paper presented at CADAAD, Budapest, Hungary.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Harvard

Potts, A & Kjær, AL 2014, 'Corpus-based critical discourse analysis as a method of exploring underlying ideologies and self-representation strategies in legal texts', Paper presented at CADAAD, Budapest, Hungary, 01/09/2014 - 04/09/2014.

APA

Potts, A., & Kjær, A. L. (2014). Corpus-based critical discourse analysis as a method of exploring underlying ideologies and self-representation strategies in legal texts. Paper presented at CADAAD, Budapest, Hungary.

Vancouver

Potts A, Kjær AL. Corpus-based critical discourse analysis as a method of exploring underlying ideologies and self-representation strategies in legal texts. 2014. Paper presented at CADAAD, Budapest, Hungary.

Author

Potts, Amanda ; Kjær, Anne Lise. / Corpus-based critical discourse analysis as a method of exploring underlying ideologies and self-representation strategies in legal texts. Paper presented at CADAAD, Budapest, Hungary.21 p.

Bibtex

@conference{988ed969126a4f92ace744d5f34f6669,
title = "Corpus-based critical discourse analysis as a method of exploring underlying ideologies and self-representation strategies in legal texts",
abstract = "Legal language is an integral and foundational party of our social reality, but it is underrepresented in interdisciplinary, critical linguistic analyses. This is perhaps because language is more objective and formulaic than media texts, which can be more subjective and emotive (Kj{\ae}r and Palsbro, 2008). In this paper, I demonstrate how a corpus-based critical discourse analysis of legal language can expose hidden traces of the underlying ideologies of text creators, while demonstrating how identity can be performed in legal texts. Research is based on a half-million-word corpus of annual reports by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Key semantic domain analysis (Rayson, 2008) is used to identify the most salient themes in the legal texts compared to reference corpora of general written English, indicating areas for closer analysis. Results show that legal language can be subjective and emotive. The semantic field of ‘crime’ is an expected key, but concordance analysis shows ideological skew in discursive construction of crimes/victims. For instance, ‘rape’/‘sexual assault’ co-occurs with female victims, whereas ‘torture’/‘outrages upon personal dignity’ co-occurs with males. Automated semantic categorization of collocates of Tribunal also indicate differing patterns in self-presentation. Early reports are dominated by discourse of progress/achievement while later reports are concerned with reputation/global perception. Critical analyses of large bodies of legal language are relatively rare, but extremely culturally relevant. Legal descriptions of crimes/perpetrators/victims are powerful and sometimes subjectively skewed. Further, self-representation of powerful legal bodies and their conceptualizations of ‘success’ and ‘failure’ in establishing/enforcing law will have lasting impacts on human rights.",
author = "Amanda Potts and Kj{\ae}r, {Anne Lise}",
year = "2014",
language = "Dansk",
note = "CADAAD : Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines ; Conference date: 01-09-2014 Through 04-09-2014",

}

RIS

TY - CONF

T1 - Corpus-based critical discourse analysis as a method of exploring underlying ideologies and self-representation strategies in legal texts

AU - Potts, Amanda

AU - Kjær, Anne Lise

N1 - Conference code: 5

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Legal language is an integral and foundational party of our social reality, but it is underrepresented in interdisciplinary, critical linguistic analyses. This is perhaps because language is more objective and formulaic than media texts, which can be more subjective and emotive (Kjær and Palsbro, 2008). In this paper, I demonstrate how a corpus-based critical discourse analysis of legal language can expose hidden traces of the underlying ideologies of text creators, while demonstrating how identity can be performed in legal texts. Research is based on a half-million-word corpus of annual reports by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Key semantic domain analysis (Rayson, 2008) is used to identify the most salient themes in the legal texts compared to reference corpora of general written English, indicating areas for closer analysis. Results show that legal language can be subjective and emotive. The semantic field of ‘crime’ is an expected key, but concordance analysis shows ideological skew in discursive construction of crimes/victims. For instance, ‘rape’/‘sexual assault’ co-occurs with female victims, whereas ‘torture’/‘outrages upon personal dignity’ co-occurs with males. Automated semantic categorization of collocates of Tribunal also indicate differing patterns in self-presentation. Early reports are dominated by discourse of progress/achievement while later reports are concerned with reputation/global perception. Critical analyses of large bodies of legal language are relatively rare, but extremely culturally relevant. Legal descriptions of crimes/perpetrators/victims are powerful and sometimes subjectively skewed. Further, self-representation of powerful legal bodies and their conceptualizations of ‘success’ and ‘failure’ in establishing/enforcing law will have lasting impacts on human rights.

AB - Legal language is an integral and foundational party of our social reality, but it is underrepresented in interdisciplinary, critical linguistic analyses. This is perhaps because language is more objective and formulaic than media texts, which can be more subjective and emotive (Kjær and Palsbro, 2008). In this paper, I demonstrate how a corpus-based critical discourse analysis of legal language can expose hidden traces of the underlying ideologies of text creators, while demonstrating how identity can be performed in legal texts. Research is based on a half-million-word corpus of annual reports by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Key semantic domain analysis (Rayson, 2008) is used to identify the most salient themes in the legal texts compared to reference corpora of general written English, indicating areas for closer analysis. Results show that legal language can be subjective and emotive. The semantic field of ‘crime’ is an expected key, but concordance analysis shows ideological skew in discursive construction of crimes/victims. For instance, ‘rape’/‘sexual assault’ co-occurs with female victims, whereas ‘torture’/‘outrages upon personal dignity’ co-occurs with males. Automated semantic categorization of collocates of Tribunal also indicate differing patterns in self-presentation. Early reports are dominated by discourse of progress/achievement while later reports are concerned with reputation/global perception. Critical analyses of large bodies of legal language are relatively rare, but extremely culturally relevant. Legal descriptions of crimes/perpetrators/victims are powerful and sometimes subjectively skewed. Further, self-representation of powerful legal bodies and their conceptualizations of ‘success’ and ‘failure’ in establishing/enforcing law will have lasting impacts on human rights.

M3 - Paper

T2 - CADAAD

Y2 - 1 September 2014 through 4 September 2014

ER -

ID: 124383545