The British Journal of Psychiatry
The Neurology of Psychotic Speech
MACDONALD CRITCHLEY

Abstract

The complicated field of language-disorder in psychotic patients forms an intriguing topic for aphasiological study, especially when linguistic techniques of research are employed.

Demented patients are liable to show a progressive poverty of speech, which may be overlaid by true dysphasic manifestations when the brain-atrophy happens also to involve the mid-third of the dominant hemisphere to a significant degree. Terminology offers certain difficulties, and it is suggested that the language impairment in cases of dementia should be spoken of as "dyslogia" rather than dysphasia. Unusual phonemic and other verbal mannerisms may also occur at times in patients whose dementia is associated with a previously existing state of mental defect or schizophrenia.

The diverse and complex disorders of language which may be encountered in schizophrenics may bear a superficial likeness to the dysphasias. The analogies should not be overemphasized, however, for the causation of schizophrenic speech affection lies in an underlying thought-disorder, rather than in a linguistic inaccessibility.

Iterations, both of spoken and of written speech, may be encountered in cases of schizophrenia, and also to a milder extent in dysphasiacs, but for different reasons.

There are interesting problems entailed when the similarities are studied between schizophrenic writings and the non-representational work of certain authors addicted to a cult of obscurity.