Language Performance in Chronic Schizophrenia: A Pragmatic Approach

Meilijson, Sara R.; Kasher, Asa; Elizur, Avner
June 2004
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Jun2004, Vol. 47 Issue 3, p695
Academic Journal
In this study, the authors examined the language of 43 participants with chronic schizophrenia under the basic assumption that a paradigmatic shift is needed in the methodology used to investigate the language of schizophrenia. The pragmatic protocol (C. Prutting & D. Kirchner, 1987) was chosen as the method of analysis to attain a general profile of pragmatic abilities. The results showed that the participants with schizophrenia exhibited a high degree of inappropriate pragmatic abilities compared to participants with mixed anxiety-depression disorder and participants with hemispheric brain damage, as previously assessed by Prutting and Kirchner. Statistical methods for clustering analysis yielded 5 distinct parameter clusters: Topic, Speech Acts, Turn-Taking, Lexical, and Nonverbal. Group clustering analysis of the 43 participants with schizophrenia produced 3 distinct groups with different profiles: minimal impairment, lexical impairment, and interactional impairment. The results are discussed in terms of theoretical implications in the area of pragmatics, the diagnosis of schizophrenia, and other goals.


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