AAAI Publications, The Twenty-Seventh International Flairs Conference

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A Bilingual Analysis of Cohesion in a Corpus of Leader Speeches
Lubna Shala, Vasile Rus, Arthur C. Graesser

Last modified: 2014-05-03

Abstract


We study in this paper the cohesion of a leader's speeches over time. This is part of a larger project that aims at investigating the language of leaders and how their language changes over their stay in power. Here, we analyze the speeches of a leader who stayed in power for a long period of time, i.e. more than 30 years. We measure cohesion of speeches in the original language, which is Arabic in our case, as well as in English, based on human translations of the original speeches. The cohesion is measured in two different ways: using word overlap and Latent Semantic Analysis. Because of the morphological complexity of Arabic, the word overlap measure of cohesion becomes challenging in Arabic. Latent Semantic Analysis, which is totally unsupervised, is applied similarly for Arabic and English. The results show that cohesion has a general down trend over time and that during and after major crises the leader's speeches exhibit an increas in cohesion which can be explained as an attempt on leader's behalf to make his policies more clear, most likely as a form of post-crisis management.

Keywords


cohesion, leader language, language change

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