Archive for April, 2011

Տրանսֆերտների 10% աճը հանգեցնում է ՀՆԱ-ի 0.4% աճի

(Աղբյուր՝ 1in.am)

Ինչ կլինի, եթե արտասահմանյան մասնավոր տրանսֆերտներ չփոխանցվեն Հայաստան: Այսօր լրագրողներն այս հարցն են ուղղել ԿԲ ֆինանսական համակարգի կայունության և զարգացման վարչության պետ Վահե Վարդանյանին: «Տխուր կլինի, որովհետև մասնավոր տրանսֆերտները կազմում են մեր ՀՆԱ-ի 13-14%-ը»,- պատասխանել է Վ. Վարդանյանը:

Նշենք, որ, ըստ ԿԲ այսօր հրապարակած «Ֆինանսական կայունության հաշվետվություն, 2010 թ.» պարբերականի, մասնավոր տրանսֆերտների 10% աճը հանգեցնում է ՀՀ-ում ՀՆԱ-ի 0.4% աճի: Նշվում է, որ նման եզրակացության են եկել Արժույթի միջազգային հիմնադրամի փորձագետները:

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Սարգսյանն նիստ էր հրավիրել

(Աղբյուրը՝ Ա1+)

ՀՀ նախագահ, Ազգային անվտանգության խորհրդի նախագահ Սերժ Սարգսյանն այսօր հրավիրել է Ազգային անվտանգության խորհրդի նիստ:

Մինչ նիստի օրակարգին անցնելը, Սարգսյանը խորհրդի անդամների անունից նախ շնորհավորել է Ազգային ժողովի «Բարգավաճ Հայաստան» խմբակցության ղեկավար Գագիկ Ծառուկյանին՝ Ազգային անվտանգության խորհրդի անդամ նշանակվելու կապակցությամբ և մաղթել արգասաբեր աշխատանք:

Նիստում քննարկվել են Հայաստանի Հանրապետության պարենային անվտանգության ապահովման հայեցակարգի և Հյուսիս-Հարավ ճանապարհային միջանցքի նախագծերը, մաքսային և հարկային բարեփոխումների 2011-2013թթ. ծրագրերը:

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Գիերմո Տոլոսա. Հարկահավաքման մակարդակը Հայաստանում շատ ցածր է

(Աղբյուր՝ Panorama.am)

«Հայաստանում բարեփոխումների գործընթացը շարունակում է ճիշտ ուղղությամբ ընթանալ, մենք որոշ կասկածներ ունենք բարեփոխումների գործընթացի արագության վերաբերյալ»:

Այս մասին այսօր լրագրողների հետ հանդիպման ժամանակ ասաց Հայաստանում Արժույթի միջազգային հիմնադրամի (ԱՄՀ) մշտական ներկայացուցիչ Գիերմո Տոլոսան: Ըստ նրա, վերջին 6 ամիսների ընթացքում եղել են կարևոր զարգացումներ, մասնավորապես հարկային բնագավառում:

Նրա խոսքերով, ներկայումս Պետական եկամուտների կոմիտեի հետ ծագած խնդիրների մաին կարելի է գանգատվել ՊԵԿ-ից դուրս գտնվող մարմնին` Գանգատարկման հանձնաժողովին, որտեղ հարկային ոլորտի փորձագետները շատ ավելի արագ են լուծումներ տրամադրում, քան դատական համակարգը: Գործում են նաև հարկ վճարողների սպասարկման կենտրոններ:

Նա նաև դրական համարեց այն երևույթը, որ այսուհետ հարկատուներն ավելի քիչ հարկային հաշվետվություններ պետք է ներկայացնեն հարկային մարմիններին:

«Այս ոլորտում ապագայում սպասվում են դեռ ծանր մարտահրավերներ: Թեև հարկային բարեփոխումներ են իրականացվում, սակայն հարկային դաշտը դեռևս բավարար չափով բարենպաստ չէ տնտեսվարողների համար։ Ձեռնարկվում են որոշակի դրական քայլեր այդ ուղղությամբ, բայց դեռ շատ ավելին պետք է արվեն»,- Գ.Տոլոսան:

Ըստ նրա, հարկահավաքման մակարդակը Հայաստանում շատ ցածր է։ «Դժբախտաբար, այս բացթողման առումով մենք որևէ ճիշտ քայլ, ընթացք չենք տեսնում: Տնտեսության մեջ հարկային եկամուտների տոկոսային մասնաբաժինը 2010թ.-ին այնքան անբարենպաստ չափով ցածր էր, որքան 2009թ.-ին, իսկ դա նշանակում է, որ ստվերային տնտեսությունը Հայաստանում չի փոքրացել»,- ասաց ԱՄՀ ներկայացուցիչը՝ հավելելով, որ հարկեր/ՀՆԱ գործակցով Հայաստանը նախկին ԽՍՀՄ երկրների շարքում, բացառությամբ Տաջիկստանի, վերջին տեղն է զբաղեցնում։

Գ.Տոլոսան նշեց նաև, որ Հայաստանի իշխանությունները շատ լավ գիտակցում են, թե որքան լուրջ է այդ խնդիրը։
Նրա կարծիքով, Հայաստանի կառավարությունը պետք է ուշադրությունը սևեռի հարկային հավաքագրումների ավելացման վրա, որպեսզի բյուջեի հնարավորություններն ավելացվեն, ինչի շնորհիվ էլ հնարավոր լինի նպաստել մասնավոր հատվածի աճին, ինչպես նաև` փորձել մեղմել ճգնաժամի հետևանքները բնակչության առավել խոցելի խմբերի համար, ավելացնել սոցիալական, առողջապահական և կրթական ծրագրերի ծավալը:

Կառավարության հաջորդ ուղղությունը պետք է լինի գործարարության միջավայրի բարելավումը, քանի որ Հայաստանը տարածաշրջանի երկրների համեմատ հետ է մնում։

Անդրադառնալով ՀՀ նախագահի և գործարարների՝ վերջերս կայացած հանդիպման ժամանակ ձեռք բերված այն պայմանավորվածությանը, ըստ որի՝ Հայաստանում նոր արտադրություն հիմնողները ժամանակավորապես կազատվեն շահութահարկից, Գ.Տոլոսան նշեց. «ԱՄՀ-ն ընդհանրապես չի սիրում շահութահարկի արձակուրդներ։ Մենք կարծում ենք, որ դա լրացուցիչ ռիսկ կառաջացնի հարկահավաքման առումով»։

Անդրադառնալով Հայաստանի արտաքին պարտք/ՀՆԱ հարաբերակցությանը, Գ.Տոլոսան նշեց, որ այդ պարտքի մեծ մասը Հայաստանին տրվել է արտոնյալ պայմաններով, այդ թվում ԱՄՀ-ից ստացված փոխառությունը, ինչը այլ պետությունների հետ համեմատ պակաս ծանրաբեռնող է:

«Դրական զարգացումն այստեղ այն է, որ 2010թ.-ին 2009-ի համեմատ պարտք/ՀՆԱ հարաբերակցությունը անգամ նվազել է։ Ակնկալվում է, որ մոտակա 1-2 տարիներին այդ ցուցանիշը կարող է ավելանալ, բայց մոտ ժամանակներս այդ ցուցանիշը մոտ 40 %-ի շրջանակներում կկայունանա»,- ասաց Գ.Տոլոսան։

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Report into the authorship of texts signed with the nom-de-plume ‘Pahakazor’

by John Olsson PhD

Curriculum Vitae: Dr John Olsson

Experience, academic qualifications, conferences, publications, summary of recent cases

Forensic Linguistics Institute: Director

University of Bangor: Co-ordinator of the Forensic Linguistics Programme

My name is Dr John Olsson. I have been practising as an independent forensic linguistics expert since 1994. I am commissioned by law enforcement agencies, solicitors, government departments, companies and private clients. I am on the United Kingdom National Crime Operations Faculty register (Centre for Policing Excellence, NPIA) as an expert. My work has been used in evidence at Crown Court, Magistrates’ Court, County Court and Coroner’s Court levels, in addition to several industrial tribunals and other internal disciplinary hearings. This includes having given evidence at venues as diverse as the Central Criminal Court, (the ‘Old Bailey’), a number of Coroners’ courts, and the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal. I have also been admitted as an expert in an Australian civil court in connection with copyright infringement and have written a number of reports in this area. I have also worked on evidence in a US Supreme Court case. My evidence was recently heard in an international forgery case in Switzerland and I have given evidence to the World Intellectual Property Organisation. I have also given evidence in Singapore. In addition, I have lectured to police forces on forensic linguistics in a number of countries.

I have worked on murder, suspicious death, terrorism, product contamination, witness intimidation, blackmail, fraud, sexual assault, armed robbery, money laundering, gang violence and narcotics investigations and have analysed all kinds of texts including ransom notes, suicide texts, threat texts and a variety of other types of document. I have analysed the authorship of many cell phone text messages and have assisted in a number of investigations involving electronic media, including email messages. I have also analysed the discourse of codes, including gang codes, for police officers in intelligence operations. I have also undertaken many transcriptions and other phonetic analyses of police interviews, phone calls – both malicious and genuine – to the emergency services, surveillance audio tapes, etc. This work also includes voice identification and audio enhancement.

In all I have written approximately 400 reports for police services and law enforcement agencies, lawyers and private clients.

I have published in the Forensic Linguistics peer‑reviewed professional journal, am the author of a well-known university text book and have presented at conferences in several countries. I have also been involved in a number of copyright infringement cases. I take an active interest in matters of scientific interest and am a member of a number of learned and other societies, as well as of the professional association for forensic linguists.

Relevant academic qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy, Linguistics, University of Glamorgan, 2009

Master of Philosophy, English, University of Birmingham, 2000

Master of Arts, Linguistics, University of Bangor, North Wales, 1995

Current positions and academic affiliations

Director, Forensic Linguistics Institute. This institute has an educational rôle also, and our courses are accredited by the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council of the UK.

Coordinator, Forensic Linguistics Programme, School of Linguistics, Bangor University, North Wales.

Tempus Consortium Member, University of Zagreb, EU Tempus Language and Law Programme

Language and Law Centre, Zagreb, Member, Advisory Board and Visiting Professor. This involves giving lectures, conducting seminars and supervising graduate students in Forensic Linguistics.

Chair, Forensic Linguistics Society (a Learned Society, as listed by the British Academy).

Freelance consultant to legal professionals in the UK and USA and to police forces in the UK and the USA.

Professional and Learned Society Memberships

Member (since 1994) of the International Association of Forensic Linguists

Member, British Academy of Forensic Sciences

Fellow, Royal Statistical Society

Research and Publications

The Dictation and alteration of text, The International Journal of Language, Speech and the Law, Volume 4 No 2

Review Article Heike Hänlein, HänleinHeike, 1998. Studies in authorship recognition¾ a corpus based approach. The International Journal of Language, Speech and the Law, Volume 8 No 1

Response to Chaski, The International Journal of Language, Speech and the Law, Volume 12, No 1

FORENSIC LINGUISTICS, in Linguistics, [Eds. Lelija Socanac, and Vesna Muhvic-Dimanovski], 2006 in Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Developed under the Auspices of the UNESCO, Eolss Publishers, Oxford, UK, [http://www.eolss.net]

Focus on Forensic Linguistics, in The Journal of Homicide and Major Incident Investigation, Vol 4 (2), Autumn 2008, 111-123 (with Coulthard, M. & Grant, T.).

Preliminary observations on author variation in mobile phone texting. Paper 2009/03.1 FLW 1. Forensic Linguistics Works. Work in Progress Papers on Forensic Linguistics Topics. Forensic Linguistics Society.

Books

Forensic Linguistics: An introduction to Language, Crime and the Law, Continuum Books, 2004

Forensic Linguistics: Continuum Books, Second Edition (2008).

In Arabic ‘Forensic Linguistics’, translated by Mohammed Al-Uqbhani, published by the King Saud University. 2007.

In Croatian Forensic Linguistics. University of Zagreb Press. 2011.

In Chinese Forensic Linguistics. Shanghai Foreign Language Education press, Shanghai University. 2005.

Wordcrime: A forensic linguist’s case file (Continuum, March 2009).

International and Police Conferences

Computer software in authorship attribution. International Association of Forensic Linguists Conference at University of Cardiff (Gregynog), 2004.

The myth of the linguistic fingerprint. IAFL, 7th Biennial Conference, University of Cardiff, 2005.

Determination of genuineness in authorship of suicide texts. International Association of Forensic Linguists, ‘East meets West’, University of Lodz, Poland, 2005.

A study in abuse of legal process. IAFL Conference, Seattle, July 2007.

The bicycle murders: The use of dialogic and narrative structures in reconstructing a mobile phone text conversation in a recent murder case. Association of Chief Police Officers E-Crime Conference, Wyboston, June 2008.

The role of forensic linguistics in the investigation and prosecution of violent crime. Zagreb Police College, June 2008.

Evaluating forensic authorship as a science. Language and Law Conference, Dubrovnik, September, 2008.

The use of Forensic Linguistics in Criminal Investigations. SIO Conference, National Policing Improvement Agency, Bramshill, Surrey, November, 2008.

Is variation the poor step‑sibling of forensic authorship studies? IAFL Conference, Amsterdam, July 2009.

Media

HTV News, Item on Derek Bentley, 1998.

Channel 4, participated in ‘The Heist’, 2004.

BBC Radio 4, participated in and advised on ‘Textual Evidence’, 2004.

BBC World Service ‘Analysis’, on plagiarism in the Dan Brown case.

Articles on cases in The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Daily News, The Belfast Telegraph; review in The Times Higher Educational Supplement, also Vanity Fair (re Dan Brown), July 2006, Daily Mail, July 2009; Times Higher Education Supplement, July 2009, New York Times, BBC, etc.


Recent reportable cases

Recent cases where John Olsson appeared as an expert witness or where his evidence was used or referred to in court:

HMA v Charles Bernard O’Neill and William Lauchlan, June 2010, Glasgow High Court of Justiciary. Charge of murder.

Involvement: Commissioned by defence to analyse authorship of an interview statement by a witness.

Defendants found guilty.

R v Blake, Raithan, May 2010, Southwark Crown Court. Charge of aggravated burglary.

Involvement: Commissioned by prosecution to provide an interpretation of text messages.

Defendant found guilty.

R v Chapman, March 2010, murder of Ashleigh Hall, a minor, Teesside Crown Court.

Involvement: Commissioned by prosecution to investigate the authorship of mobile phone texts.

Defendant found guilty.

A.    R v Gledhill and Hardy, March 2010, murder of John Greer, Leeds Crown Court.

Involvement: Commissioned by prosecution to provide an interpretation of ICQ messages.

Defendants found guilty.

B.     R v Couchman, Tony. January 2010. Lewes Crown Court. Charge of murder.

Involvement: Commissioned by prosecution to investigate the authorship of mobile phone texts.

C.     (Defendant deceased, case discontinued).

D.    R v Pallas, Jason. December 2009. Leeds Crown Court. Charge of money laundering.

Involvement: Commissioned by prosecution to interpret pseudo‑Romany talk and criminal code.

E.     McCubbin, J.

February, 2009. Kilmarnock Sheriff Court. Charge of sending malicious communications.

Involvement: Commissioned by Prosecution to investigate authorship of anonymous texts.

F.     R v Alexander P.

November, 2008. Birmingham Crown Court. Case No. T2008 0584. Charge of dangerous driving and racing.

Involvement: Commissioned by Defence to examine possibility of abuse of process (method of collecting witness statements).

Outcome: Racing charge dropped.

G.    R v Graham Speed

October 2008, Lincoln Magistrates’ Court

Charge of malicious communication (series of hate mail letters and emails to neighbours, police, hospitals, newspapers, government departments)

Involvement: Commissioned by the prosecution

Verdict: Guilty

H.    R v Steven Dawes, Richard Eyre, Graham Manuel

September 2008, Gloucester Crown Court

Charge of blackmail, possession and production of cannabis, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice – voice identification and sound file enhancement

Involvement: Commissioned by the prosecution

Verdict: Guilty on all counts

R v RGW

July 2008, Beverley Magistrates’ Court

Charge of drink driving, analysis of police statements

Involvement: Commissioned by the defence

Verdict: Guilty

I.       R v Darryl Bennett, Richard McNamara, Shane Liddy, Nicholas Garland

May 2008, Luton Crown Court

Charge of murder, conspiracy to rob, perverting the course of justice – reconstruction of mobile phone conversation

Involvement: Commissioned by the prosecution

Verdict: Guilty on all counts

R v Andrew Caveney and Daniel Roberts

March  2008, Wrexham Crown Court

Charge of aggravated burglary, threats, TWOC – voice identification

Involvement: Commissioned by the prosecution

Verdict: Guilty

R v Garry Weddell

March 2008, Luton Coroners’ Court

Charge of murder – identification of authorship of an alleged suicide note

Involvement: Commissioned by the prosecution, continued as part of Coroner’s Inquest

Outcome: Case discontinued owing to death of suspect, finding of double murder and suicide

Her Majesty’s Advocate v David Martin

March 2008, High Court, Edinburgh

Charge of murder

Involvement: Commissioned by the defence

Verdict: Guilty

R v Tracey de Paulie

January 2008, Aylesbury Crown Court

Charge of conspiring to smuggle heroin into a prison – voice identification

Involvement: Commissioned by the prosecution

Verdict: Guilty

R v David Robertson

December 2007, Aylesbury Crown Court

Charge of conspiring to smuggle heroin into a prison – voice identification

Involvement: Commissioned by the prosecution

Verdict: Guilty

R v CB

November 2007, Birkenhead Magistrates’ Court

Charge of drink driving, analysis of police and witness statements

Involvement: Commissioned by the defence

Outcome: Prosecution evidence not admitted, case dismissed

R v TD

Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court, November 2007

Charge of drink driving, analysis of police statements

Involvement: Commissioned by the defence

Outcome: Police statements not presented, case dismissed

R v Damien Walker

Taunton Crown Court, October 2007

Charge of possession of child pornography, analysis of police interview tapes

Involvement: Commissioned by the defence after the verdict

Outcome: Awaiting appeal against guilty verdict

HMA v John McSween – Appeal

August 2007, High Court of Justiciary, Glasgow

Perjury case (Crown Appeal)

Involvement: Commissioned by the defence

Verdict: Guilty

 

R v John Hanmer

June 2007, Wrexham Magistrates’ Court

Charge of malicious communication, analysis of audio tapes for voice identification

Involvement: Commissioned by the prosecution

Verdict: Guilty

R v NG

May 2007, Oldham Magistrates’ Court

Charge of reckless driving, analysis of police statements

Involvement: Commissioned by the defence

Outcome: Police statements not presented for evidence, case dismissed

 

 

Icarus College v MedEntry

April 2007, Supreme Court, Melbourne, Australia

Copyright infringement case

Claim number VID1289-2004

Involvement: Commissioned by the claimant

Outcome: Judgment not awarded to either party

R v Rehan Asghar

February 2007, Central Criminal Court, London UK, Case No: T20050083

Charge of Murder

Involvement: Commissioned by the prosecution

Verdict: Guilty

Mr B Keeping v Brampton Flying Club

February 2007, Superior Court of Justice Ontario

Case No: 02-BN-10544

Authorship of Internet journal

Involvement: Commissioned by the claimant

Outcome: Claim upheld, damages agreed

HMA v John McSween

High Court of Justiciary, Glasgow, January 2007

Perjury case, analysis of police statements

Involvement: Commissioned by the defence

Outcome: Case dismissed by judge owing to precognition, later appealed by Crown

R v AP

Charge of drink driving, analysis of police statements

Coventry Magistrates Court

December 2006

Involvement: Commissioned by the defence

Outcome: Prosecution evidence not admitted, abuse of process

Mr C

July 2006, Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, London

Asylum Appeal Case No: AA/04277/2005

Analysis of witness statements

Involvement: Commissioned by Refugee Legal Centre

Outcome: Home Office ruling upheld

R v Margaret James

July 2006, Truro Crown Court

Charge of Murder

Analysis of mobile phone texts for authorship

Involvement: Commissioned by the prosecution

Outcome: Guilty of conspiracy to murder

US Supreme Court Case No. 05-4840-cv (upholding an NY District court ruling)

April 2006

Lewis Perdue v Dan Brown (‘The Da Vinci Code’), Random House et al. Copyright infringement allegation

Involvement: Commissioned by the defence

Outcome: Judge refused to admit expert evidence, ruling upheld by Supreme Court

R v William Sorby

March 2006, Derby Crown Court

Charge of downloading child pornography from the Internet, authorship identification

Authorship of emails

Involvement: Commissioned by the prosecution

Verdict: Guilty

R v Stephen John Bailey

February 2006, Lincoln Crown Court

Charge of Arson and criminal damage

Contemporaneous authorship of diaries

Involvement: Commissioned by the prosecution

Verdict: Guilty

 

Inquest into the death of Brenda McKee

August 2005, Brecon Coroner’s Court

Case Ref No: 203.04BM

Inquest to determine cause of death (suspicious death), Coroner’s Court, Brecon, Powys, UK

Reconstruction of mobile phone conversation

Involvement: Commissioned by Coroner’s Officer

Outcome: Finding of Accidental Death


Report

This report concerns the question of whether Mr Sarkis Kotanjan is the author of anonymous postings under the nom-de-plume of ‘Pahakazor’ on the website thetruthmustbetold.wordpress.com.

Background

The website in question is a forum for discussion on issues relating to the financing of the reconstruction of Armenia. Most, if not all, of the contributors appear to be Armenians or Armenian descendants writing about the country of their birth or their ancestry. There appears to be a division among contributors as to the proper application of funds which have been raised by the Armenian diaspora for the purposes of reconstruction. On the one hand Mr Manoogian appears to assert that the distribution of funds has been or is being carried out with insufficient probity, or even actual corruption. On the other hand, supporters of Mr Kotanjan appear to assert the opposite. One of those who supports Mr Kotanjan is the person writing under the nom-de-plume of ‘Pahakazor’.

Scope and purpose of the report

The merits of the arguments of the parties involved is beyond the consideration of this report. Its sole concern is whether there is linguistic support for the proposition that ‘Pahakazor’ is a nom-de-plume for Mr Kotanjan: in effect, whether Mr Kotanjan is a possible author of those contributions which go under the name of Pahakazor.

Stylistic features and structural parallels

There are a number of key similarities between Mr Kotanjan’s style and that of Pahakazor which indicate the possibility that Mr Kotanjan (hereafter ‘K’) is the author of the Pahakazor (hereafter ‘P’) contributions.

  1. 1.      The use of the word ‘bro’ and its orthographic environment

Pahakazor

1. Talk is cheap bro…

2. Wake up bro…

3. Bro – you can believe whatever you choose to believe, I can’t help you with that.

Kotanjan

1. Bro – Gagik has been VP from day one.

2. Bro – all these decisions become public every year after each board meeting.

3. Bro – I’m just fine.

4. Bro u r talking about examples from 2004.

5. Not worth commenting. Sorry bro…

6. Sorry bro – that’s what I think 😦

7. I don’t have to be angry bro – life is colorful and bright.

In all of these examples, ‘bro’ is used vocatively, that is, as a term of direct address. On the website in question no author, other than K or P, uses ‘bro’, either vocatively or in any other sense. Moreover, the vocative use is very specifically used in sentence initial and sentence final position by both K and P.

Sentence-initial use

P: Bro – you can believe whatever you choose to believe, I can’t help you with that.

K: Bro – all these decisions become public every year after each board meeting.

Sentence-final use

P: Talk is cheap bro…

K: Sorry bro…

The use of ‘bro’ in both P and K is very particular in terms of meaning. The word’s origin is of course as ‘brother’, and is usually used between male members of the same religious or ethnic group to indicate solidarity, especially against a common enemy (social, economic, military, etc). It is often used as a term of endearment and even fraternal intimacy. However, its use here departs from this common use. In both P and K it is used to reproach a ‘brother’ with whom one is in disagreement. Hence, “Talk is cheap bro…” is a way of chiding the addressee that he is not a person of action, but simply one who ‘talks’. Similarly, the remark “Wake up bro…” is also intended as a criticism. It implies that the person addressed is not aware of important facts which he should be aware of. Hence, it appears that ‘bro’ is being used both as a form of reproach and as an expression of the writer’s anger and possibly even hostility. Additionally, ‘bro’ in these contexts is clearly intended to be seen by others reading the postings, and therefore acts as a public criticism which conflicts strongly with the intimate way in which it is often used. Effectively, both P and K appear to be saying: ‘you are a brother but you do not act like one’. Hence, the use and effect of the word ‘bro’ in both P and K is intentionally very powerful.

The punctuation and orthography surrounding the use of ‘bro’ is almost identical across P and K. In sentence initial position ‘Bro’ is followed by a dash, after which the rest of the sentence is given. The use of the dash after ‘bro’ adds to its vocative character. Here it is used as an attention-getting device which would be entirely lost if ‘bro’ were just followed by, for example, a comma:

Bro, you can believe whatever you choose to believe.

Bro, all these decisions become public every year after each board meeting.

Instead we have:

P Bro – you can believe whatever you choose to believe.

K Bro – all these decisions become public every year after each board meeting.

This is a more emphatic form of punctuation, designed to be more visually prominent, and therefore to assist the expression of anger and reproach.

Where ‘bro’ is used in sentence final position it is always followed by three dots (ellipsis). The use of ‘bro’ in this context is slightly different from sentence initial position. It appears to be a device indicating dismissal of the importance of what the addressee is saying, similar to the contemporary expression ‘whatever’, possibly in the sense of ‘I’m not listening to you anymore’.

Opinion 1

While it may be argued that the term ‘bro’ is not uncommon, especially by and to male members of the same community, its use across P and K is consistent, both in terms of rhetorical meaning, and in terms of the orthography which supports it. Hence, while the word ‘bro’ is not idiosyncratic, its precise form in these texts seems distinctive, given both the apparent intended meaning of the device as a term of anger and the structural nature of the orthography surrounding most uses. I suggest the use of ‘bro’ in the very specific way I have described is consistent with the possibility of common authorship between P and K.

  1. 2.      The use of single capitalised words for emphasis

Both P and K often capitalise single words for emphasis as the examples below show:

Pahakazor

  1. You are attacking Grant Thornton, which in fact IS an “independent international auditing firm with impeccable credentials”.
  2. You sound just like “Zhamanak” newspaper you LOVE to quote in your so called “white paper”.
  3. What Manoushak did 18-20 years ago doesn’t really bother me – the hell with her – whole country was a mess back then and the Diaspora did not have ANY mechanisms to control what goes on there.
  4. Hilda — “capacity building”, “democracy building”, “voter education”, “civil society training” — enough of THESE!
  5. And NO, it was another Ara who called me while we were meeting.
  6. MAYBE… But what does it have to do with Armenia Fund?
  7. And just the fact that they are now asking for water for villages that they could have fixed many years before with pipes that belonged to the people and they sold the Iranians and profited from for themselves is absurd and should speak volumes for how the Armenia Fund is manipulating us! — ARE you trying to say that Armenia Fund sold pipes to Iran? Show proof!
  8. THE reason Mark cut off the Appo-Wilson spot is because they were going well over 3 minutes allotted to them plus Appo violated a Telethon policy.
  9. NOW – this sentence needs attention and I will have to check whether you went public with this sentence.

Kotanjan

In both P and K single word emphasis in the form of capitals appears intended to emulate speech, with the capitalised word being spoken emphatically.

Opinion 2

While this feature is not idiosyncratic, nevertheless the use of single word capitalisation for emphasis occurs across both P and K. It is consistent with the possibility of common authorship across P and K.

  1. 3.      The use of icons

Both P and K use the smiley icon, although K exhibits more instances. Although this is not an idiosyncratic feature on its own, it is interesting that in the mobile phone text corpus held at this institute[1], the use of additional punctuation with the smiley icon is relatively rare, being used by less than 15% of those who use the smiley icon at all.

P: it’s not like this is a widely popular blog. 🙂

K: Look on the bright side! 🙂

Opinion 3

The particular use of punctuation with the smiley icon is relatively rare. It is consistent with the possibility of common authorship across P and K.

  1. 4.      The phrase ‘Armenia Fund Office in Yerevan’

Both P and K refer to the ‘Armenia Fund Office in Yerevan’. However, all the other contributors on the website refer to ‘Armenia Fund’s Office in Yerevan’. Only one other instance of ‘Armenia Fund Office in Yerevan’ was found in the course of an internet search, all of the rest being ‘Armenia Fund’s Office in Yerevan’. There are thus nine websites where the apostrophe is used, and only one without – this is an old news article on the website asbarez.com[2].

Opinion 4

This is not an idiosyncratic feature, but, as with previous examples, it is consistent with the possibility of common authorship across P and K.

Other features of note

The following features, though not stylistic in nature reflect the close similarity of topic and, more particularly, perspective and opinion, across P and K:

A.    The reference to ‘piece of land’ – meaning Armenia

Pahakazor

  1. weakening that holy piece of land by halting critical infrastructure development [this is a reference to Armenia]

Kotanjan

1. I want to know whether you donated to a piece of land called Armenia…

Comment: Both P and K refer to Armenia as a ‘piece of land’. The context is to do with donations to Armenia and is very emotive. This is far from idiosyncratic, but is nevertheless of interest to the authorship question.

  1. B.     The description of officials in terms of ‘clean’ and ‘efficient’.
  2. I have come across many Armenian government officials, especially from the new generation, who are true patriots and are clean….Some of them are corrupt, some of them enrich themselves on grants coming from the States, EU and organizations like the Soros Foundation, but some of them are clean and efficient.
  3. as he brought transparency and efficiency to the organization within the span of short 3 years… He is clean and he has guts.

Pahakazor

Kotanjan

While the pairing of the concept of ‘clean’ – i.e. not corrupt – officials with those who are ‘efficient’ cannot be described as idiosyncratic, it is nevertheless an interesting pairing, the more usual co-conceptualisation being in relation to engineering, for example a machine which is clean (in environmental terms) and efficient (in terms of power to energy ratio).

C.    The collocation of ‘trustee’ and ‘affiliate’

Pahakazor

1. Trustees and local affiliates didn’t like the idea and he moved on.

Kotanjan

  1. Ara Vardanyan, who, despite his young age of 33, is well-respected by Armenia Fund donors, affiliates around the world, trustees, volunteers and employees of Armenia Fund.
  2. People both on the Board of Trustees, from affiliates around the world and at the Armenia Fund office in Yerevan.

Although this pairing is found on some websites related to Armenia, it is apparently always in the context of the Armenia Fund. The collocation suggests that P is an individual who is closely associated with the fund. As a collocation in the language generally ‘trustee’ and ‘affiliate’ do not collocate.

Conclusion

In view of the above findings, in my opinion, on the balance of probabilities, Mr Kotanjan is a probable author of the texts attributed to ‘Pahakazor’. I suggest that the combination of features in common across the two text sets would most likely be used by only a very small percentage of the population.

John Olsson, PhD

Date: Monday, 4th April, 2011


[1] Some of the messages in the forum are sent using mobile phones, for example a number of messages sent by Mr Kotanjan. This accounts for the extreme informality of some of Mr Kotanjan’s texts, including use of ‘u r’ for ‘you are’, etc. This would probably explain the use of such abbreviations in some, but not all, of Mr Kotanjan’s contributions.

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