Generalization and Reduction in Speech during the Emergence of Mental Acts

  • A. N. Sokolov
Part of the Monographs in Psychology book series (MOPSY)


The basic fact related to the problem of speech reduction during the formation of mental acts is that, as intellectual habits (reading, writing, mathematical problem solving, etc.) are developed, verbal operations (judgments) gradually become abbreviated, or reduced, in the manner of enthy-memes in logic, (i.e., abbreviated syllogisms in which some of the elements are omitted—a major or a minor premise or even the conclusion therefrom). It is usually assumed that the omitted premise or inference is in this case being kept in one’s mind or implied as an obvious proposition (V. F. Asmus [17: 228]; D. P. Gorskii [66: 117]. As pointed out by P. A. Shevarev [195: 43–44], however, the term “being implied” is very vague and does not answer the question: Does one think the omitted elements or does one not? In other words, are there cases where one not only does not state the intermediate links of a judgment but does not reproduce them mentally either? Asmus seems to admit the existence of such cases. He relegates the need for complete syllogisms to the mathematical sciences only, believing that “in other sciences and in artistic and particularly everyday thinking it is not always, far from it, necessary to reproduce in thought and to express in speech all the links of a proof, all the parts of an inference” [17: 227].


Specific Weight General Meaning Grammatical Structure Literal Translation Semantic Point 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. N. Sokolov
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyMoscowUSSR

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