Psycholinguistics and Psychopathology

  • Gilead Nachmani


Psycholinguists and psychoanalysts both note areas of similarity in their two fields of study (Chomsky, 1978; Edelson, 1972; Freud, 1900/1953; Smith, 1978; Spence, 1979). In this chapter knowledge from structural linguistics will be brought to bear on specific psychodynamic phenomena, namely, a schizoid syndrome, in the hope of understanding it better. In the psychodynamic literature much more attention has been paid to semantics than to grammatics. This is evident from the vast literature on such subjects as symbol formation and dream interpretation. Manifest content signifies what is meant (latent content). The mechanisms that generate and organize meaning, such as condensation, displacement, and metaphor, likewise are more often studied insofar as they signify meaning, as opposed to their properties as fundamental organizing principles, rules, or as psychodynamic grammars. Furthermore, as Edelson (1972) points out, writers in the field of psychoanalysis often fail to draw a distinction between language as a capacity and speech as its realization in performance; psychoanalysts are generally concerned with semantics and not syntax.


Dependent Child Linguistic Competence Total Dependency Latent Content Manifest Content 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gilead Nachmani
    • 1
  1. 1.New YorkUSA

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