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Schizophrasia: case study of a paranoid schizophrenic's language

  • Robert K. Herbert (a1) and Karen Z. Waltensperger (a2)

The various descriptions of schizophrenic language have concentrated on a structural treatment of the schizophrenic's spoken or written language or an elucidation of the relationship between linguistic and cognitive disturbances. The structural treatments in fact often focus on the content of schizophrenic discourse, e.g. circumstantiality, flight of ideas, etc., rather than on grammatical structure. In this paper, the linguistic performance of a chronic schizophrenic, paranoid type (DSM-II:295.3) is examined via a large corpus of continuous spoken and written narrative texts collected over a three-year period. A striking agreement was noted in the oral and written language of this subject in features such as the types of agrammatic errors which occur and extreme perseveration. The data reveal important differences with the six characteristics of schizophrenic language noted by Chaika (1974). A brief comparison is made with aphasic and similar neurolinguistic disturbances suggesting organicity in the present case.

Corresponding author
Robert K. Herbert, Program in Linguistics, State University of New York, Binghamton, NY 13901
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Applied Psycholinguistics
  • ISSN: 0142-7164
  • EISSN: 1469-1817
  • URL: /core/journals/applied-psycholinguistics
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