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An Interdisciplinary Approach to Medical Discourse: Analyzing Patients’ Speech

Efthymia M. Tsaroucha, Dimitrios T. Karalis, Angeliki Kleisiari- Karali
Published 30 January 2020

Abstract

This paper argues for an interdisciplinary approach to medical discourse and aims to analyze patients’ speech. The paper investigates the case of subclinical hypothyroidism and attempts to build bridges between the disciplines of medicine and linguistics. It is suggested that the way patients think of this disease and utilize language in order to express its symptoms is affected by the abnormal TSH level and the normal levels in T3 and T4 thyroid hormones. The article further attempts to propose that human thought and language use are shaped by environmental factors such as chronic diseases. The paper discusses how patients of subclinical hypothyroidism, whose mother tongue is Modern Greek, use language figuratively by means of metaphor and metonymy.

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