BACKGROUND Psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics have extended our understanding of the abnormal communication seen in psychosis, as well as that of people with autism and Asperger's syndrome. Psycholinguistics has the potential to increase the explanatory power of cognitive and neuropsychological approaches to psychosis and new methods of assessment and therapy are now being developed, based on linguistic theory.
METHOD A MEDLINE literature search was used.
RESULTS Of 205 relevant articles identified, 65 were selected for review.
CONCLUSIONS Greater familiarity with linguistic theory could improve psychiatrists' assessment skills and their understanding of the relevance of human communication to the new cognitive models of psychosis.