Legislating to Control Online Hate Speech: a Corpus-assisted semantic Analysis of French Parliamentary Debates


This corpus analysis of linguistic and semantic features in French parliamentary debates concerning online hate speech regulation, highlights tensions between state powers and private rights. Two key themes are identified: first, the problem of definition: how such online content is defined in the debates, and second, the problem of regulation: how the debates negotiate the supra-jurisdictional and individual jurisdiction issues involved, in regulating both the global online content and the responsibilities of the owners of the platforms who manage the content. For this analysis, the authors created a corpus of French National Assembly Examination Committee discussions and public sessions between July 2019 to January 2020 discussing the Loi Avia (Avia Law). The corpus was analysed using quali-quantitative methods. Overall, the study combines a top-down (global) and a bottom-up (local) analysis of the data, applying corpus semantic approaches (Lecolle et al. in Langages 210(2):35–54, 2018; Rastier in The Routledge handbook of semantics, Routledge, pp 507–522, 2015) to contextualize the analysis of the meta-discourse (Hyland in Meta-discourse: exploring interaction in writing, 1st ed. Bloomsbury Academic, Bloomsbury Collections, 2018. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350063617). The analysis highlights the linguistic features revealing the power dynamics inherent within the discourse and counter-discourse of the dominant and opposition political parties respectively.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11196-023-10018-x
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics
College of Business and Social Sciences
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > English Languages and Applied Linguistics
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College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Law School
Funding Information: The research leading to these results received funding from United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) under the Expanding Excellence in England (E3) fund Grant number: 28031.
Additional Information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Online hate speech (cyberhate),Parliamentary debate,Regulation,Corpus linguistics,Semantics
Publication ISSN: 0952-8059
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2024 07:25
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2023 13:10
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://link.sp ... 196-023-10018-x (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2023-12
Published Online Date: 2023-07-14
Accepted Date: 2023-05-12
Authors: Makouar, Nadia (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-7288-6184)
Devine, Lauren
Parker, Stephen



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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