Lexical indicators of profit and loss in Spanish shareholder letters

Keywords: finance, lexicon, collocations, verbs, eventive nouns


Through a case, frequency, and collocational study, this work aims to detect linguistic differences between the letters to shareholders of profitable and loss-making companies. In a sample of 50 letters from each group, two lexical categories were analysed, verbs and eventive nouns, using the corpus manager Sketch Engine. The results indicated that verbs and eventive nouns with an absolute frequency of at least five occurrences overlap in both corpora by 95.7 per cent and 95.8 per cent, respectively. The frequency analysis showed that those with significantly higher frequency in one corpus denoted events or activities that were to be expected for companies in their group, such as aumentar (‘increase’), crecimiento (‘growth’), or cumplimiento (‘compliance’), in the profitable companies; but terms such as relanzar (‘relaunch’), revalorización (‘revaluation’), or pérdida (‘loss’) in the loss-making companies. The analysis of the combinatorial properties of these verbs and nouns revealed subtle but significant differences between the two groups. In the case of verbs, the choice of the direct object is key, and in the case of nouns, qualifying and adverbial adjectives are crucial, as well as the Theme complements.


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How to Cite
Carbajo Coronado, B. (2023). Lexical indicators of profit and loss in Spanish shareholder letters. Research in Corpus Linguistics, 11(1), 81-115. https://doi.org/10.32714/ricl.11.01.04