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Schizophrenic language: A critical review of the literature

1 October 1986


Selected studies and theoretical papers representing the entire body of research in schizophrenic language are reviewed and critiqued. Of major consideration was the clinical utility, or diagnostic potential, of this research area. The study of schizophrenic speech or language is found to have no clinical utility due to the infrequency and nonspecificity of disordered speech. Major flaws in the research are identified, especially the inadequate and variable definitions for basic constructs such as thought disorder and schizophrenia. Only a small percentage of the literature specifically addresses schizophrenic language or speech, the vast majority uses verbal behavior to study thought disorder or to pursue etiologies. Suggestions for future research are made for the area of schizophrenic language and for diagnosis.


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