The Language of Pain

Expression or description?

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How is the universal, yet private and subjective, experience of pain talked about by different people in everyday encounters? What does the analysis of pain-related lexico-phraseological choices, grammatical structures, and linguistic metaphors reveal as to how pain is perceived and experienced? Are pain utterances primarily used to express or to describe this experiential domain? This is the first book that investigates such questions from both a functional and a cognitive perspective: it combines two converging usage-based theoretical models in a systematic linguistic inquiry of the construal of pain in everyday language. This work is based on a specialised electronic corpus of Greek naturally-occurring dialogues in a health care context, the underlying assumption being that in the absence of factual evidence intuition about language cannot reliably detect or predict patterns of usage. Comparing Greek with English data, this book significantly contributes to the development of this research field cross-linguistically.

Subjects: Theoretical linguistics; Cognitive linguistics; Functional linguistics; Cognition and language

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Athens

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