Discourse Analysis of Attitude in Selected Suicide Notes

Manal Abdul Ameer Alyan ,Prof. Dr. Hussein Musa Kadhim
Keywords: Discourse Analysis, Systemic Functional Linguistics, Appraisal Theory, Suicide Notes. ,


The current study examines some selected genuine suicide notes using the Appraisal System as a comprehensive framework. Accordingly, the present study attempts to specify the attitude categories used to represent their mental and emotional statements. The study aims at recognising the emotional motives of suicide through discourse and the significance of language in representing those emotional motives. Moreover, the study aims to identify the most frequent types of emotions used in suicide notes, figuring out the grammatical and lexical differences in the use of 'judgement, and specifying the most common patterns of 'appreciation' used in suicide notes. In association with the aims, the study sets out three hypotheses: First, feelings of anger (dissatisfaction) and (insecurity) are the most dominant emotional motives that motivate suicidal people to end their lives. Second, affect categories are the most frequent categories of attitude used in the selected suicidal notes. Finally, the appraisal categories are significant in disclosing emotional states and how suicidal people view the world. To achieve the aims and verify these hypotheses, the study adopts the Appraisal System of Martin and White (2005) to analyse 16 suicide notes in a qualitative driven method supported by quantitative analysis. Depending on the results of the analysis, the study derived some conclusions. One significant conclusion is that unhappiness and insecurity are the apparent emotional motives that motivate suicidal people related to the selected data to commit suicide.

Secondly, Affect categories are the most frequent categories of attitude used in the selected suicidal notes." Furthermore, the study showed that the appraisal system is of remarkable comprehensiveness in representing the inner feelings, conflicts, and desires of suicidal people.