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A corpus-based approach to the identification of non-literal language in a medical setting.

Poster (konferens)
Författare Dimitrios Kokkinakis
Inga-Lill Grahn
Publicerad i Proceedings of the Conference on Communication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET), Lugano, 26-28 June 2014
Sidor 1
Publiceringsår 2014
Publicerad vid Institutionen för svenska språket
Sidor 1
Språk en
Ämnesord figurative language
Ämneskategorier Språkteknologi (språkvetenskaplig databehandling), Datorlingvistik


Automated processing of clinical texts is commonly faced with various less exposed, and not so regularly discussed linguistically complex problems that need to be addressed. One of these issues concerns the usage of figurative language. Figurative language implies the use of words that go beyond their ordinary meaning, a linguistically complex and challenging problem and also a problem that causes great difficulty for the field of natural language processing (NLP). The problem is equally prevalent in both general language and also in various sublanguages, such as clinical medicine. Therefore we believe that a comprehensive model of e.g. clinical language processing needs to account for figurative language usage, and this paper provides a description, and preliminary results towards this goal. Since the empirical, clinical data used in the study is limited in size, there is no formal distinction made between different sub-classifications of figurative language. e.g., metaphors, idioms or simile. We illustrate several types of figurative expressions in the clinical discourse and apply a rather quantitative and corpus-based level analysis. The main research questions that this paper asks are whether there are traces of figurative language (or at least a subset of such types) in patient-doctor and patient-nurse interactions, how can they be found in a convenient way and whether these are transferred in the electronic health records and to what degree.

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