Raluca Nicoleta TRIFU1, Bogdan NEMEȘ1*,
Carolina BODEA-HAȚEGAN2, Doina COZMAN1
1Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
2Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Depression is a significant disorder, with more than 300 million people having this diagnosis. Mood, cognition and language are altered during depressive episodes. Language could act as a diagnostic and a therapeutic tool in psychotherapy. While the theoretical body of literature is increasing, studies on language indicators in depression are still challenging. This study aims to limit this gap, by bringing valid data on linguistic indicators used in the narrative language of persons with depression, and by testing the relation between these indicators and cognitive dysfunction in major depressive disorder. The study used a content analysis approach to rate the collected language sample. Results confirm the existence of linguistic indicators for depressive patients: use of the singular form pronoun, mainly 1st person pronouns use, tendency of self-focus, extensive past tense use for verb actions, inverted word order for topic, use of emphasis, presence of short, impersonal, truncated and arid sentences, presence of ellipsis, tautologies, repetition and lack of comparison. The changes in morphologic-syntactic-lexical language dimensions are associated with deficits in working memory, set shifting, strategic planning, attention and psychomotor speed, as assessed through the Cogtest neuropsychological measurements.
Keywords: depression, linguistic indicators, cognitive dysfunction, MDD, Cogtest
Published online: 2017/03/01
Published print: 2017/03/01
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