Edited by Claudio Scarvaglieri, Eva-Maria Graf and Thomas Spranz-Fogasy
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 331] 2022
► pp. 221–242
Using data from Hungarian primary-care consultations, we present linguistic features of relationship-building, focusing on the role of address forms and metapragmatic reflections. We also investigate intergenerational differences and different styles of managing doctor-patient relationships. Based on a range of evidence (discourse about doctor-patient communication in the public and in academia, participant observation of consultations, interviews with practitioners, analysis of instructional videos, questionnaire surveys), we discuss a change in doctor-patient communication at both macro (socio-cultural) and micro (interactional) levels. Factors influencing this process include general social change, digitisation and the communicative training of healthcare professionals. We conclude that physicians build different types of relationships with language, which hints at an overall shift in Hungarian society and in healthcare communication in general.