In recent years, the opioid crisis in the United States has sparked significant discussion on doctor- patient interactions concerning chronic pain treatments, but little to no attention has been given to investigating the vocal aspects of patient talk. This exploratory sociolinguistic study intends to fill this knowledge gap by employing prosodic discourse analysis to examine context-specific linguistic features used by the interlocutors of two distinct medical interactions. We found that patients employed both low pitch and creak as linguistic resources when describing chronic pain, narrating symptoms, and requesting opioids. The situational use of both features informs us about the linguistic ways in which patients frame fraught issues like chronic pain in light of the current opioid crisis. This study expands the breadth of phonetic analysis within the domain of discourse analysis, serving to illuminate discussions surrounding the illocutionary role of the lower vocal tract in expressing emotions.
- Let's talk about pain and opioids: Low pitch and creak in medical consultations
- Doctor-patient interaction
- Discourse analysis
- Vocal Fry
- Chronic Pain