December 1960

Is There a Schizophrenic Language?

Author Affiliations

Weyburn, Sask., Canada

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;3(6):665-673. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.01710060097014

Although the phrase ‟schizophrenic language" is often found in psychiatric literature, the reader is usually left in some doubt as to whether there is 1 language possessed by many or all schizophrenics, or an aggregate of private languages like Babel. There are writers who give the impression, at least to us, that they know and can even converse in a schizophrenic language. This suggests that others might learn this language and so communicate with schizophrenic patients too. Seen in this way, Bleuler's5 laws of association and the principle of Von Domarus cited by Arieti1 would be the laws of grammar and syntax for the schizophrenic language or languages. Arieti states that in the light of Von Domarus's principle, ‟even bizarre and complex schizophrenic delusions can be interpreted." Another possibility is that there is a finite number of schizophrenic languages perhaps corresponding to

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