A Linguistic Study of Depression in Religious Texts

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Prof. Dr. Riyadh Tariq Kadhim Al-Ameedi , Noor Al-Huda Kadhim Hussein


Studies on the importance of language and verbalism in depression are still challenging. Thus, the present study is an attempt to study depressive speech linguistically focusing on the linguistic indicators or markers of such type of speech. It mainly aims at specifying the linguistic markers of depression in religious texts and finding out on which linguistic level depression seems to be manifested more in religious texts along with the functions of depressive speech. Accordingly, it is hypothesized that: (1) Religious texts, in English and Arabic,  exhibit certain types of linguistic markers such as first-person singular pronoun (i.e. I talk), past tense verbs, the excessive amount of words conveying negative emotions, absolutist words, and metaphor. (2) Linguistic markers of depression are manifested differently on the linguistic levels of the data selected in the two languages.(3) Depressive speech in religious texts serves different communicative functions. The data of the present study are collected from some of  the Bible's stories about influential figures of faith and Du'aa Kumayl. After analyzing the data, the study has come up with some conclusions that religious texts exhibit certain linguistic markers of depression. These linguistic markers are manifested differently on the linguistic levels of the data selected in the two languages. Finally, depressive speech serves different communicative functions. These conclusions validate the hypotheses set in the first place. 

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