The Speech Act: A Linguistic Frame of Reference to Study Ego Adaptation of a Psychotic Child

  • Theodore Shapiro
Part of the The Downstate Series of Research in Psychiatry and Psychology book series (DSRPP, volume 1)


In recent years, infant research and early childhood studies have focused on the interaction between mother and child as the relevant unit to be explored in the march of developmental adaptation. This is the vantage point of many psychoanalytically trained infant investigators (Sander, 1975; Stern, 1971), as well as a number of animal behaviorists (Schneirla, 1960). Mahler’s (1975) view of the separation-individuation process likewise focuses on interactional matrices and postulates “psychic hatching” along with biological maturation. This dominant psychoanalytic view of the problems of infancy also derives, in part, from Hartmann’s concept of “average expectable biological equipment in an average expectable environment” that also focuses attention on interaction.


Child Psychiatry Grammatical Development Grammatical Form Object Relation Theory Social Closure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aurnhammer-Frith, U. Emphasis and meaning in recall in normal and austistic children. Language and Speech, 1969, 12:29–38.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bartak, L. & Rutter, M. The use of person pronouns for autistic children. Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, 1974, 4:217–222.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bartolucci, G. & Albers, R. Deictic categories in the language of autistic children. Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, 1974, Vol. 4, No. 2.Google Scholar
  4. Bloom, L. Language development: Form and function in emerging grammars, Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press, 1970.Google Scholar
  5. Bloom, L., Hood, L., & Lightbown, P. Imitation in language development: If, when, and why. Cognitive Psychology, 1974, 6: 380–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bruner, J. S. The ontogenesis of speech acts. Journal of Child Lauguage, 1974, 2:1–19, Great Britain.Google Scholar
  7. Fay, W. H., & Butler, B. V. Echolalia, IQ and the developmental dichotomy of speech and language-systems. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 1968, 11:365–371.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Fraser, C., Bellugi, U., & Brown, R. Control of grammar in imitation, comprehension and production. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 1963, 2:121–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Freud, S. (1895b). On the ground for detaching a particular syndrome from neurasthenia under the description anxiety neurosis. Standard Edition, 3:87. London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  10. Freud, S. (1905). Three essays on the theory of sexuality. Standard Edition, 7:125–245. London: Hogarth Press, 1953.Google Scholar
  11. Freud, S. (1914c). On narcissism: An introduction. Standard Edition, 14:73–102. London: Hogarth Press, 1957.Google Scholar
  12. Freud, S. & Breuer, J. (1893–5). Studies on hysteria. Standard Edition, Vol. 2, London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  13. Greenacre, P. The predisposition to anxiety. Part I. In Trauma, growth and personality. New York: Norton, 1952.Google Scholar
  14. Hermelin, B. & O’Connor, N. Psychological experiments with autistic children. Oxford, England: Pergamon Press, 1970.Google Scholar
  15. Hewett, F. M. Teaching speech to an autistic child through operant conditioning. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1965, 35: 927–936.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Klein, M. The psychoanalysis of children. London: Hogarth Press, 1932.Google Scholar
  17. Lenneburg, E. H. Biological foundations of language . New York: Wiley, 1967.Google Scholar
  18. Lovaas, O. I., Schreidman, L., & Koegel, R. L. A behavior modification approach to the treatment of autistic children. Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, 1974, Vol. 4, p. 131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mahler, M., Pine, F., and Bergma, A. The psychological birth of the human infant. New York: Basic Books, 1975.Google Scholar
  20. McNeill, D. The acquisition of language: The study of developmental psycholinguistics. New York: Harper and Row, 1970.Google Scholar
  21. Nelson, K. Structure and strategy in learning to talk. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 1973, 38: (1–2 Serial #149).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sander, L. W. Some determinants of temporal organization in the ecological niche of the newborn. Read at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, St. Louis.Google Scholar
  23. Searle, J. R. Speech acts: An essay in the philosophy of language. London: Cambridge University Press, 1969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Schneirla, T. C. Instinctive behavior, maturation, experience and development. In B. Kaplan & S. Wapner (Eds.), Perspectives in Psychological Theory. New York: International Universities Press, 1960.Google Scholar
  25. Shapiro, T. Language and ego function of young psychotic children. In E. J. Anthony (Ed.), Explorations in child psychiatry. New York: Plenum, 1975.Google Scholar
  26. Shapiro, T. & Fish, B. A method to study language deviation as an aspect of ego organization in young schizophrenic children. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 1969, Vol. 9, No. 3.Google Scholar
  27. Shapiro, T., Roberts, A., & Fish, B. Imitation and echoing in young schizophrenic children. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 1970, Vol. 9, No. 3.Google Scholar
  28. Shapiro, T. & Kapit, R. Negation in young schizophrenic children. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, in press.Google Scholar
  29. Simon, N. Echolalic speech in childhood autism. American Journal of General Psychiatry, 1975, 32:1439–1446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sinclairde-Zwart, H. Developmental psycholinguistics. In D. Elkind & J. H. Flavell (Eds.), Studies in cognitive development: Essays in honor of Jean Piaget. New York: International Universities Press, 1969.Google Scholar
  31. Stern, D. A microanalysis of mother-infant interaction: Behavior regulating social contact between a mother and her 3 1/2-month old twins. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 1971, 10.: 501–517.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sullivan, H. S. Interpersonal theory of psychiatry. New York: Norton, 1953.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theodore Shapiro
    • 1
  1. 1.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations