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Deictic and Propositional Meaning-New Perspectives on Language in schizophrenia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stuart Watson, Professor Douglas Turkington, Emeritus Professor Nicol Ferrier



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Emerging linguistic evidence points at disordered language behavior as a defining characteristic of schizophrenia. In this article, we review this literature and demonstrate how a framework focusing on two core functions of language-reference and propositional meaning-can conceptualize schizophrenic symptoms, identify important variables for risk assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, and inform cognitive behavioral therapy and other remedial approaches. We introduce the linguistic phenomena of deictic anchoring and propositional complexity, explain how they relate to schizophrenic symptoms, and show how they can be tracked in language behavior.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Zimmerer VC, Watson S, Turkington D, Ferrier IN, Hinzen W

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry

Year: 2017

Volume: 8

Online publication date: 10/02/2017

Acceptance date: 23/01/2017

Date deposited: 30/03/2017

ISSN (print): 1664-0640

Publisher: Frontiers Media SA


DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00017


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Funder referenceFunder name
AH/L004070/1grant Language and Mental Health, Arts and Humanities Research Council