Center for Interdisziplinary Research

ZiF Workshop

Clinical Differential Diagnostics and Linguistic Analysis of Conversations

Date: 26. - 28. November 2015

Convenors: Barbara Frank-Job (Bielefeld, GER), Markus Reuber (Sheffield, GBR), Elisabeth Gülich (Bielefeld, GER), Martin Schöndienst (Bielefeld, GER), Alexander Mehler (Frankfurt am Main, GER), David Schlangen (Bielefeld, GER)

Interdisciplinary research projects between linguistics and medicine have shown that linguistic analyses of patients' accounts of seizures in doctor-patient encounters can differentiate the diagnosis of epileptic and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures with a very high degree of certitude. Such a qualitative analysis focuses mainly on the linguistic features of patients' accounts (lexical, morpho-syntactic, and pragmatic features) as well as their interactional behavior and strategies (theme initiation, framings, etc.) during the conversation. The analysis is thus not so much on what patients tell about a seizure as how they do it.

On the basis of these findings a semi-standardized interview procedure has been introduced which enables the elicitation of the distinguishing linguistic features and facilitates comparison of different patients? accounts.

Further single case analyses in parent domains of disease such as different forms of chronic pain, panic disorders, or dementia support, in addition, the finding that differential diagnosis by means of linguistic analyses of doctor-patient dialogues is able to open new directions in medical diagnosis.

The ZiF Workshop brought together clinicians, neurologists, psychologists, linguists and computational linguists to discuss the possibilities of a standardized procedure of this kind of linguistic differential diagnosis in systematically using modern computer-based linguistic methods of data processing and analysis.


Carsten Detka (Magdeburg, GER), Nataliya Detka (Magdeburg, GER), Eva-Maria Fehre (Bielefeld, GER), Nora Füratsch (Berlin, GER), Julia Harfensteller (Berlin, GER), Martin Holtkamp (Berlin, GER), Eva-Maria Jakobs (Aachen, GER), Heike Knerich (Bielefeld, GER), Ulrich Krafft (Halle (Westf.), GER), Gabriele Lucius-Hoene (Freiburg i.Br., GER), Thomas Mayer (Radeberg, GER), Florian Menz (Wien, AUT), Joachim Opp (Oberhausen, GER), Wolfgang Picker-Huchzermeyer (Bielefeld, GER), Karola Pitsch (Essen, GER), Katja Ploog (Besançon, FRA), Matthew Purver (London, GBR), Annely Rothkegel (Hildesheim, GER), Marlene Sator (Wien, AUT), Birte Schaller (Bielefeld, GER), Carl Eduard Scheidt (Freiburg i.Br., GER), Thomas Schmidt (Mannheim, GER), Fritz Schütze (Magdeburg, GER), Hans Beatus Straub (Bernau, GER), Anja Stukenbrock (Jena, GER), Susanne Uhmann (Wuppertal, GER), Jan Wirrer (Bielefeld, GER), Peter Wolf (Dianalund, DEN), Sina Zarrieß (Bielefeld, GER)

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