308 pages | 25 B/W Illus.
This book presents the methodology, findings and implications of a large-scale corpus-based study of the metaphors used to talk about cancer and the end of life (including care at the end of life) in the UK. It focuses on metaphor as a central linguistic and cognitive tool that is frequently used to talk and think about sensitive and subjective experiences, such as illness, emotions, death, and dying, and that can both help and hinder communication and well-being, depending on how it is used. The book centers on a combination of qualitative analyses and innovative corpus linguistic methods. This methodological assemblage was applied to the systematic study of the metaphors used in a 1.5-million-word corpus. The corpus consists of interviews with, and online forum posts written by, members of three stakeholder groups, namely: patients diagnosed with advanced cancer; unpaid carers looking after a relative with a diagnosis of advanced cancer; and healthcare professionals. The book presents a range of qualitative and quantitative findings that have implications for: metaphor theory and analysis; corpus linguistic and computational approaches to metaphor; and training and practice in cancer care and hospice, palliative and end-of-life care.
1. Introduction 2. Background: Metaphor, Corpus Linguistics and Communication about Cancer and the End of Life 3. Data and General Methodology 4. Key Topics and Main Metaphor Patterns in the Corpus 5. Violence Metaphors 6. Journey Metaphors 7. Metaphors for the Relationship Between Patients and Healthcare Professionals 8. Health Professionals’ Metaphors for Good and Bad Deaths 9. Family Carers’ Metaphors for the Emotions Associated with Bereavement 10. Patients’ Humorous Metaphors for Cancer Online 11. Conclusions
Corpus based linguistics is a dynamic area of linguistic research. The series aims to reflect the diversity of approaches to the subject, and thus to provides a forum for debate and detailed discussion of the various ways of building, exploiting and theorizing about the use of corpora in language studies.