⬅ Back to Agenda

Analysis of Move Structure in Philippine Suicide Notes

Leo D. Rayon, Jr.
Davao del Norte State College, Panabo City, Philippines


As suicide notes are considered markers of severity of the suicide acts, they often function to convince survivors that the act committed or about to commit is justifiable. While numerous studies were conducted on suicide notes across research disciplines, most were meant for psychological and psychiatric interpretations. This study analyzed the move structure of suicide notes written by Filipino suicide-completers based on Abaalkhail’s (2015) rhetorical move structure model. The study investigated 59 genuine suicide notes written in English and Filipino languages. The findings revealed that a) Filipino note-writers structured their suicide notes by addressing a recipient, justifying suicide, sharing emotional sentiments, expressing love, asking forgiveness or expressing sorry, and signing off; and b) the occurrence and order of structure were cyclical and flexible with addressing a recipient positioned at the beginning and the move signing off at end structure. The study recommends embarking on a larger Filipino suicide corpus for a wider scope and interpretation, characterizing the language of gender in terms of move structure, and typifying the suicide structure written in English and Filipino languages.


move analysis, suicide, suicide notes, Filipino suicide-completers, Philippines

International Joint Conference of APLX, ETRA40, and TESPA 2023