CADOH -- Corpus of American Discourses on Health

Laurel Smith Stvan
UT Arlington

concordance lines of the word cold

women blowing her nose

People talk about health during many daily exchanges, such as debating dinner choices, reading web sites on illnesses, or watching shows on cooking. Likewise, deciding on exercise plans, listening to news reports on recalled food, and watching infomercials about medications all represent ways that speakers are engaged with health topics. Many decisions about behavior are based on health beliefs, such as opinions on the benefits of fresh air or hot baths, the dangers of inadequate sleep or drug and alcohol use, and the desirability of fitness, sexuality, and longevity.

The scope of health discourse, then, is larger than just exchanges between doctors and patients. Distinct from the specialist jargon of medical and nursing journals, this corpus aims to represent what lay people discuss, read, or listen to when seeking health information.

Source texts come from the years 1995 to 2016. The corpus is currently in the pilot stage. CADOH serves as one component of the diachronic project, H-CODE (Health Corpus of Diachronic English). H-CODE will include samples from genres discussing health topics from Old English to the present.

teaspoon and sugar cubes

Written Texts

Commercial Blogs—Main Post

Commercial Blogs—Comment Threads

Personal Blogs—Main Post

Personal Blogs—Comment Threads

Commercial Webpages

Listserv and Online Forum Conversation Threads

Letters to the Editor

Magazine Articles

Newspaper Articles

Trade Magazine Articles (non-medical)

Spoken Text Transcripts

Fiction—Movie Script Conversations

Fiction—Television Broadcast Interviews

Fiction—Novels and Short Stories*

Television Talk Show and News Transcripts

Radio Talk Show and News

Student Focus Group Discussions

Funding for CADOH

UT Arlington Digital Arts and Humanities Institute grant 2016. "Changes in Vernacular Perspectives on Health: Medieval to Modern Texts Highlighting Food and Health." PI: Laurel Smith Stvan. Collaborators: Jacqueline Fay, UTA Department of English, Sridhar Nerur, UTA Dept. of Information Systems and Operations Management. ($9,500 awarded)

UT Arlington Dean's Health and Humanities grant 2016. "What Students Consider to be Healthy: Focus Group Data Tracking the Language of Pre-Diabetic Populations." PI: Laurel Smith Stvan. Collaborators: Rebecca Garner, UTA Department of Kinesiology, Sridhar Nerur, UTA Dept. of Information Systems and Operations Management.
($9,625 awarded)

Presentations involving data from CADOH

Stvan, Laurel Smith and Becky Garner. "Health as a Foreign Language: Student Perspectives on Pre-Diabetes." (PDF of poster) presented at the Workshop of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL) Health & Science Communication Special Interest Group (SIG) “Chronic Disease and Language: Understanding Social and Linguistic Representations to Improve Treatment and Prevention,” Lancaster University, UK, November 29, 2017.

Stvan, Laurel Smith, Jacqueline Fay, and Sridhar Nerur. "Compiling a Thematic Diachronic Corpus: Challenges in Piloting H-CODE." Presented at Big Data and Medieval Studies: the Present and Future of Medieval Text Archives, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 2017.

Laurel Smith Stvan, Rebecca Garner, Sridhar Nerur. "What Students Believe is Healthy: Language Clues in Pre-Diabetic Populations." Presented at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis, IN, June 26, 2017.

Stvan, Laurel Smith. "Expressing Causation: Using Corpus Data to Distill Connections from Vernacular Prose." (PDF of poster). Poster at the 8th Annual DFW Metroplex Linguistics Conference, Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics, Dallas, TX. October 20, 2016.

Stvan, Laurel Smith, Jacqueline Fay, and Sridhar Nerur. "What's Healthy, Then and Now: Gathering texts for the Corpus of American Discourses on Health." Talk presented at the Digital Scholarship Series. UT Arlington. Oct. 6, 2016.

Stvan, Laurel Smith. 2016. "Progress on CADOH: Data Old and New." Lightning talk presented at the 3rd Texas Digital Humanities Conference. Austin, TX. May 27, 2016. (PDF of slide).

Fay, Jacqueline, Laurel Stvan and Sridhar Nerur. 2016. "Changes in Vernacular Perspectives on Health: Medieval to Modern Texts Highlighting Food and Health." DHX: Digital Humanities Extravaganza, Dept. of English, UT Arlington, May 4, 2016.

Stvan, Laurel Smith. 2016. "Beliefs Connecting Food to Health: Lexical Conflation in CADOH." Paper presented at the 61st Annual Conference of the International Linguistic Association (Conference theme: Culinary Linguistics), at Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, March 12, 2016.

Stvan, Laurel Smith. 2015. "Gathering and Compiling CADOH: The Corpus of American Discourses on Health." Poster presented at the 7th DFW Metroplex Linguistics Conference, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, Nov. 14, 2015. (PDF of poster)

Stvan, Laurel Smith. 2014 "Fats Make You Fat": Linguistic Reinforcement of Beliefs about the Causes of Health and Illness." Paper presented at the 10th Interdisciplinary Conference on Communication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET), at Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland. June 27, 2014.

Stvan, Laurel Smith. 2013. "Predicates of Causation: The Influence of Polysemy Pairs in Lay Health Discourse." Paper presented at CRAL 2013, the third International Conference on Meaning Construction, Meaning Interpretation: Applications and Implications. The Center for Research on the Applications of Language, University of La Rioja, Spain, July 19, 2013.

Stvan, Laurel Smith. 2013."Vernacular Explanations of Causation in Lay Health Discourse." Poster presented at the 2013 JPS Research Day, part of the Office of Human Research Protections Community Research Forum in Fort Worth, June 7, 2013.

Stvan, Laurel Smith. 2012. "Metonymy-driven Polysemy in Health Discourse." Presented at the Researching and Applying Metaphor conference (RaAM 9), Lancaster University, UK, July 5, 2012. (PDF of slides)

Stvan, Laurel Smith. 2012. "Take it with a Pinch of Salt: Polysemy in Vernacular Discussions of Salt." Presented at the 7th Conference on Food Representation in Literature, Film and the Other Arts, University of Texas at San Antonio, February 25, 2012

Stvan, Laurel Smith. 2011. "Sugar Makes You Sweet: Polysemy and Cultural Beliefs about Causation." Poster presented at the Corpus Linguistics 2011: Discourse and Corpus Linguistics conference, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK, July 20-22, 2011. (PDF of poster).

Stvan, Laurel Smith. 2011. "You'll Catch Your Death of Cold": The Influence of Lexical Conflation on Beliefs about Causation." Paper presented at the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE) at Boston University, June 20, 2011.

Stvan, Laurel Smith. 2010. "Catching Cold: Polysemous Reinforcement of Beliefs about Causation." Paper presented at the 3rd UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK, July 7, 2010.

Stvan, Laurel Smith. 2010.  "Stress Management: Corpus-based insights into Vernacular Interpretations of Stress." Paper presented at the Eighth Interdisciplinary Conference on Communication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET), Boston University, June 28, 2010.

Fauzi, Sarah, David Silva and Laurel Stvan. 2008. Panel presentation on "Linguistic Aspects of Cross-Cultural Health Discussions." Presented at the 2nd Annual TAHIT Symposium on Language Access (Texas Association of Healthcare Interpreters and Translators), Fort Worth, TX. April 26, 2008.

Stvan, Laurel Smith. 2008. "Fat and Health Literacy: Two Revealing Terms in CADOH (Corpus of American Discourses on Health)," Paper presented at the American Association for Corpus Linguistics (AACL 2008), Brigham Young University, Provo, UT. March 15, 2008.

Stvan, Laurel Smith. 2008.  "Health Literacy: A Single Meaning or Three Senses Conflated?" The Language of Health Care: Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Language and Health Care. IULMA: University of Alicante, Spain. Pp. 1-13.

Stvan, Laurel Smith. 2006. "Lexical Conflation and Edible Iconicity: Their Mnemonic Power in Vernacular Discussions of Food." Paper presented at the 4th Interdisciplinary and Multicultural Conference on Food Representation in Literature, Film, and the Other Arts, Dept. of Modern Languages, UT San Antonio. February 24, 2006.

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