A corpus stylistic approach to mental health

Price, HL ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6000-4810 2023, 'A corpus stylistic approach to mental health' , in: The Routledge Handbook of Stylistics , Routledge. (In Press)

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Mental illness is an increasingly important social issue with issues pertaining to the responsible reporting of mental illness becoming an area that mental health charities and advocates have focussed on in recent years. In line with the increased social importance of mental health and illness in social life, the language of mental health and illness has received increasing attention in recent years within the fields of linguistics and stylistics specifically (Atanasova et al., 2019; Demjen, 2015; Demjen et al, 2019; Harvey, 2012; Knapton; 2013). To date, however, there has been very little exploration of the stylistic patterns at play in this discourse type to see how (i) mental health and illness are discussed in contemporary language data, and (ii) how linguistic choice can influence people’s perceptions of social issues. In this chapter, I use examples from the Mental Illness 1984-2014 corpus, a 45 millionword corpus of UK regional and national newspaper articles reporting on the topic of mental health and illness, and examples from other reference corpora to explore the stylistic features of the language of mental illness, with particular reference to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD. Through combining a range of qualitative corpus stylistic analyses (concordance analysis, semantic prosody analysis, naming analysis) and quantitative corpus stylistic analyses (keyness analysis, collocation analysis, frequency analysis), I show how the researcher can make use of “the cline of corpus stylistics” (McIntyre & Walker, 2019: 315) comprising both qualitative and quantitative analyses to explore the representation of mental illnesses at varying levels of magnification. By so doing, I demonstrate the utility of language analysis for better understanding the discourse of mental health and illness as an understudied discourse type as well as providing further evidence for the methodological benefits of adopting corpus stylistic analyses

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Burke, Michael
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9780367567491
Depositing User: Dr Hazel Price
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2022 10:40
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2022 10:45
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/65585

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