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Metaphor in End of Life Care

Project: Funded ProjectResearch

Funding organisation:
  • ESRC


The primary aim of this project is to investigate the use of metaphor in the experience of end-of-life care in the UK. We will study the metaphors used by members of different stakeholder groups (patients, unpaid family carers and healthcare professionals) in a 1.5-million-word corpus consisting of interviews and contributions to online fora.

The secondary aim of this project is to investigate the implications of the use of metaphor in our data for existing descriptions and theories of metaphor as a linguistic and cognitive phenomenon.

The method we will employ to identify and analyse metaphor in our data is both qualitative and quantitative. The most innovative aspect of our method is the exploitation of the semantic annotation tool within the software tool Wmatrix, which will enable us to identify metaphorical expressions more systematically than is currently possible with other corpus-based methods for the study of metaphor in large data sets.