Publication details [#18744]

Despot, Kristina Š., M. Sekulić Sović, M. Vilibić and N. Mimica. 2021. Metaphor Production by Patients with Schizophrenia – A Case Analysis. Metaphor and Symbol 36 (3) : 119–140.
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It is well evidenced that patients with schizophrenia demonstrate impairments of figurative language comprehension. Their metaphor production has not attracted nearly as much scholarly attention. We, therefore, studied metaphor production in patients with schizophrenia as compared to non-psychiatric controls. Qualitative case analysis on three levels (linguistic, conceptual, and discourse) was performed on controlled and semi-controlled speech. Balanced and comparable speech materials were obtained using transcribed interviews based on the Clinical Language Disorder Rating Scale and on pictorial stimuli. Transcriptions were annotated for linguistic metaphors and for types and levels of conceptual metaphors. Additionally, a metaphor-led discourse analysis was performed. Target- and control-group parameters were analyzed and compared. We found that the percentage of linguistic metaphors in the patients’ speech was remarkably similar to the percentage of linguistic metaphors in the controls’ speech. We did not find any significant impairment in the production of primary or complex metaphors, general or specific metaphors, novel or conventional metaphors, metonymy, irony, or hyperbole, nor in the metaphor framing of discourse episodes̶, the production of figurative language appears intact in first-episode schizophrenia. Having in mind how clinically heterogeneous schizophrenia is, our qualitative results call for quantitative examination and additional scrutiny of the topic.