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Linguistic performance in children who develop schizophrenia in adult life: Evidence for normal syntactic ability

  • D. John Done (a1), Eeva Leinonen (a2), Timothy J. Crow (a3) and Amanda Sacker (a4)

Abstract

Background

Less syntactically complex speech in patients with schizophrenia has been thought to represent a premorbid dysfunction, of possible prognostic value and indicative of a neurodevelopmental origin for schizophrenia.

Method

Narratives written at age 11 by children who then developed psychiatric disorders in adult life (using PSE CATEGO diagnoses), especially schizophrenia, were compared with matched controls on syntactic complexity syntactic maturity, grammatical deviance and spelling ability.

Results

Children who later developed either schizophrenia, affective psychosis or a neurotic type of disorder in adulthood did not differ from normal controls on any of the measures of syntactic production, grammatical errors or spelling.

Conclusions

it is probable that previous reports of reduced syntactic complexity in schizophrenic speech are a consequence of being in a psychotic state and do not represent a premorbid deficit.

Copyright

Corresponding author

D. J. Done. Department of Psychology. University of Hertfordshire. Hatfield. Hertfordshire AL10 9AB

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Linguistic performance in children who develop schizophrenia in adult life: Evidence for normal syntactic ability

  • D. John Done (a1), Eeva Leinonen (a2), Timothy J. Crow (a3) and Amanda Sacker (a4)
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