Dissecting Medical Case Studies

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Karen Lee-Mittelbach

Dissecting Medical Case Studies – A Linguistic Analysis

ISBN 978-3-86821-089-7, 148 S., 23 Abb., € 25,00 (CD-ROM, 2008)

(Lighthouse Unlimited, Bd. 133)

Relieve pain, acute infarction, administer medication. These are just some examples of word combinations that might appear in medical writing. Of course, there are other word combinations that are not scientific in nature, but could also appear in medical texts: history of drug abuse, prospects for survival, abuse of alcohol … In fact, this is the essence of medical writing. It is never a composition of pure medical jargon, but a combination of both technical terms and common word combinations, following basic grammatical rules and specific norms. These conventions and word combinations are the focus of the following work. What is the conventional structure of a medical case study? What kinds of word combinations, or collocations, are typical in medical English? What types of verbs are used in medical writing? In addition to answering these questions, individual case studies will be analysed on several levels: overall text analysis, collocation content, medical terminology, and verb analysis. The question of whether the target readership and text function play a role in the lexical make-up of the text will also be explored. This study also aims at measuring the degree of specialism of the text samples using quantifiable factors such as terminology and collocation content. This thesis intends to provide insight into medical texts from a linguistic perspective, offer practical tools for the purpose of medical English pedagogy and assist medical writers and translators in producing clear, fluent and accurate texts.