Is there a schizophrenic language?

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 5 (4):579-588 (1982)
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Among the many peculiarities of schizophrenics perhaps the most obvious is their tendency to say odd things. Indeed, for most clinicians, the hallmark of schizophrenia is “thought disorder”. Decades of clinical observations, experimental research, and linguistic analyses have produced many hypotheses about what, precisely, is wrong with schizophrenic speech and language. These hypotheses range from assertions that schizophrenics have peculiar word association hierarchies to the notion that schizophrenics are suffering from an intermittent form of aphasia. In this article, several popular hypotheses are critically assessed. Work in the area turns out to be flawed by errors in experimental method, faulty observations, tautological reasoning, and theoretical models that ignore the complexities of both speech and language. This does not mean that schizophrenics are indistinguishable from nonschizophrenics. They are clearly deviant in many situations. Their problem, however, appears to be in processing information and in selective attention, not in language itself.



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Citations of this work

Verbal hallucinations and information processing.Bjørn Rishovd Rund - 1986 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 9 (3):531-532.
What is schizophrenia?Janice R. Stevens & James M. Gold - 1991 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (1):50-51.

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References found in this work

Aspects of the Theory of Syntax.Noam Chomsky - 1965 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Rules and representations.Noam A. Chomsky - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (127):1-61.
Rules and representations.Noam Chomsky - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (1):1-15.

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