Corpus methodology and discursive conceptualizations of depression

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

Depression still has taboo status in many societies, and is not something people can talk readily and openly about. This is, needless to say, a problem to many people who suffer from depression, as it means that – other than mental health professionals – they have very few people to talk to about their illness. This is problematic because understanding how people with depression conceptualize the illness could be valuable in many ways, and one way to identify such conceptualizations is through analysis of texts on depression by people with depression. Fortunately, the Internet offers a way for people with depression to talk about the illness in the form of blogging, providing a plethora of data. So many, in fact, that corpus-methodology is preferred over traditional qualitative close-reading. This chapter presents a corpus-linguistic case study of a corpus of blog posts about depression. In applying some corpus-linguistic methods, the study aims to identify common patterns of language use within corpus and illustrates how salient topics, discursive strategies, and underlying conceptualizations of depression may be identified. In studying what is essentially first-hand narratives about living with and managing depression via corpus-analytical methods, the purpose of the chapter is two-fold: firstly, it introduces the reader to a range of basic notions and techniques in corpus-linguistic approaches to discourse, and, secondly, it hopefully sheds light on how people suffering from depression linguistically encode and conceptualize the illness and their management of the illness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReimagining Communication : Meaning
EditorsMichael Filimowicz, Veronika Tzankova
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Pages64-82
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-54288-4, 978-1-138-54286-0
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-351-00792-4
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 May 2020
SeriesReimagining Communication

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - corpus linguistics, corpus methodology, mental health, depression, conceptualization, cognitive linguistics, metaphor, grammar, discourse, blogs

ID: 192148986