Dialogical functions of metaphors in medical interactions

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes a method for analyzing the dialogical functions of metaphors in communicative interactions, and more specifically in the context of medical interviews. The dialogical goals proposed and pursued by the interlocutors are coded using a coding scheme that captures seven mutually exclusive categories of dialogical moves. The functions of the moves, including metaphors, can be identified and correlated with other variables relevant to the type of communication under analysis. The coding scheme is used to analyze a corpus of 39 interactions between healthcare providers and patients affected by Type 2 diabetes. The exploratory quantitative analysis, for the purpose of determining the different distributions of metaphor uses between patients and providers, is combined with qualitative analysis in which the thematic areas of the metaphors are considered. The findings show how patients and providers use metaphors for pursuing different dialogical goals and meeting distinct communicative needs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-103
Number of pages27
JournalText and Talk
Issue number1
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Argumentation
  • Dialogue analysis
  • Metaphors
  • Patient-provider communication
  • Type 2 diabetes


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