Diagnosis and Construction of Speech Coherence Disorders in Schizophasia

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Abstract

Introduction: Language disorders defined as schizophasia are one of the key symptoms of schizophrenia, especially in the disorganized form of this psychosis, which is reflected in the description of “loose associations” as one of the core negative symptoms according to P. E. Bleuler. At present, the disruption of text at the level of discourse coherence and syntactic impoverishment at the sentence level are regarded as the linguistic basis of schizophasia. The most often applied tool for clinical assessment of schizophasia is the Scale for the Assessment of Thought, Language, and Communication (TLC) devised by N. Andreasen.

Objective: The paper presents language samples of patients suffering from schizophrenia with a high intensity of schizophasia, but above all, text samples created by speech therapy students, which were supposed to simulate the language pathology of the sick. The aim of the study was to compare these two corps of the text in order to assess how classes on schizophasia affect the understanding of specific language phenomena in the field of text coherence disorders, such as derailment, incoherence, distractible speech, loss of goal.

Material:

1. Text body obtained from two patients suffering from schizophrenia with a high level of schizophasia.

2. Corpus of the text constructed by two students of speech therapy, during academic classes on schizophasia.

Results: This study presents specimens of speech by schizophrenic patients with a high intensity of schizophasia, but first of all text specimens authored by logopedics students, which were intended to simulate the language pathology of patients suffering from schizophasia.

Conclusions: The essence of schizophasic language disorders is apparently the disorders of text coherence at the pragmatic, semantic and syntactic levels. The presented schizophasic utterances constructed by logopedics students are very similar to genuine specimens of schizophasic speech – they are proof of the understanding of what schizophasia is. We may hope that the presentation of language disorders from the texts spoken by patients with schizophrenia, and then the attempt to construct analogous utterances, is conducive to better understanding of the essence of schizophasia, i.e. the disruption of text at the level of building the whole utterance but also at the sentence (phrase) level in the form of syntactic impoverishment.

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