Laura Strakova 

Research project

Supervisor Professor Wolfgang Teubert

My research broadly focuses on the issue of meaning in discourse, and on the links between empirical semantics and social constructionism. My PhD thesis takes a corpus linguistic approach to examining how the psychiatric discourse community creates the social reality of mental disorder through the negotiation of what 'mental disorder' means.

A specialized, diachronically-organized corpus is utilized to show empirically how borderline personality disorder has been constructed by psychiatric experts as unassailable 'fact'.

This has implications for the nature of (scientific) knowledge as socially organized, and for the reality of mental disorders which form the objects of psychiatric discourse.