The Use Of Corpus Tools In A Critical Genre Analysis Of Package Leaflets For Prescription Drugs Approved For The European Market

Pernille Bogo

LAEL, Lancaster University

Package Leaflets that are distributed with medicinal products have been subjects to improvement efforts (Pires, Vigário, & Cavaco, 2015) in recent years. This is a consequence of being seen as not achieving their purpose of giving the patient 'clear and accessible information' about the drug to enable safe and appropriate use (The European Commission, 2017). But the leaflets may also be seen to serve a legal function as they fulfil a requirement from the authorities and works as a disclaimer for the pharmaceutical company (Nink & Schröder, 2005).

This project looks for linguistic devices that may be attributed to either function or to any other possible function in a corpus of 158.900 words and 64 leaflets selected to represent different therapeutic areas. The corpus has been compiled and analysed using Sketch Engine.

The corpus contains little textual variation, which is unsurprising considering that the text is highly regulated. Analyses of keywords and collocational patterns reveal patterns of professional discourse and a register that is distinct compared to 'general language' as represented in the BNC.

Taking a genre discourse analytical approach combining corpus tools with an appreciation of the professional culture the leaflets are created in, the project may uncover linguistic patterns that indicate different functions in order to contribute to the knowledge about leaflets. Such knowledge is used by authorities and pharmaceutical companies when they make decisions about the creation of leaflets.

This presentation will go through the methodology and results of the corpus part of the project and welcome constructive criticism and questions.

Week 24 2017/2018

Thursday 17th May 2018

Fylde D28