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ISSN : 1226-3206(Print)
Studies in Modern Grammar Vol.102 pp.185-204

Temporal Phase Markers in the Discourse of Korean Oriental Medicine

Ki-tae Kim**
* An earlier version of the present paper was presented at the spring conference of the Discourse and Cognitive Linguistics Society of Korea in 2016. It is based on a part of the author's unpublished doctoral dissertation (Kim 2006), and as such, there are certainly gaps as well as overlaps and repetitions resulting from both expansions and omissions.
** Professor, Keimyung University.


Concentrating on the non-musculoskeletal patients and revising the overall outlines of the phases recognizable in biomedical discourse, the present study investigated the linguistic phase markers that characterized the initial and the follow-up phases and the mini-phases in them, which added up to the characteristic major phases in Korean Oriental Medical discourse (KOMD). Focusing on the centripetal force of the patient’s constitution on KOMD, it proposed distinguishing an initial session from a follow-up session due to the weight on the former for identification of the patient’s constitution. Within the first session, the present study illustrated that the doctor adopted the non-proximal temporal expressions to mark the phase boundaries in an effort to identify the constitution. Such phase markers included habitual or iterative frequency expressions, distal temporal adverbials, experiential constructions without ‘recently’ or ‘nowadays,’ and the habitual present. Subsequently, the study turned to a follow-up session and demonstrated that the doctor adopted proximal temporal expressions in order to demarcate the phase boundaries. Such phase markers included proximal temporal expressions, the temporal adverbials that highlighted the difference between the pre- and post-treatment, and explicit comparatives and equatives. Consequently, the phase models revised for KOMD were in operation, structuring both the major phases and the mini phases in them around the patient’s biophysical, psychosocial, and reactional traits. That said, as Mishler’s (1984) study demonstrated, it worked as long as the interaction was doctor-centered. When the patient’s role in the phases was brought into light, however, the model would invite further revisions.