Publication details [#4626]

Fleischman, Suzanne. 1999. 'I am'..., 'I have'..., 'I suffer from': A linguist reflects on the language of illness and disease. Chinese Journal of Special Education 20 (1) : 3–32. 30 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


Part personal documentary, part exercise in medical semantics, this essay brings the analytical tools of a linguistic and the human perspective of a patient receiving treatment in the American health care system to bear on the language used - for the most part unconsciously - to talk about illness and disease. Topics explored include linguistic ramifications of the illness/ disease distinction, referring expressions for health disorders, the "linguistic construction" of disease (naming), the "translation" of biomedical information from the specialists' dialect into everyday idiom, and the metaphoric/symbolic dimension of body parts and their afflictions. (LLBA 1999, vol. 33, n. 5)