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October 2021

Typological and topological meaning in diagnostic discourse

Journal/Book: Discourse Process. 1999; 27: 100 Prospect St, PO Box 811, Stamford, CT 06904-0811, USA. Ablex Publ Corp. 173-185.

Abstract: A conceptual distinction between linguistic (and other semiotic) resources for making typological (or categorial) versus topological (or continuous variation) meanings is used as part of a multimedia semiotic analysis of an episode from a problem-based learning tutorial session in medical education. A semantic analysis of the evaluative language of the participants shows them frequently using various linguistic devices for getting beyond simple ''true or false'' categorial judgments and also resorting to nonverbal (mainly gestural and graphical) representations when more topological meanings are needed. A tension is identified in medical diagnostic discourse between the typological emphasis of reasoning in terms of diagnostic categories and the frequently topological-quantitative or categorially ambiguous nature of the data and phenomena under discussion.

Note: Article Lemke JL, CUNY Brooklyn Coll, Sch Educ, Brooklyn,NY 11210 USA

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