chapter  1
Referent Communication Disturbances in Schizophrenia
Pages 34

Disturbances in the use of language are among the most convincing indications of a schizophrenic psychosis. Yet, as cryptic or disorganized as schizophrenic speech may sound, it rarely (if ever) includes hard instances of agrammatism or word-finding deficits. It is a disturbance of communication rather than of language per se; its most dependable feature is that listeners find the patient's referents too elusive to grasp. Thus, measures of "communicability" are among the most effective discriminators of schizophrenic speech samples and are clearly superior to measures of style, structure, or thematic content (Salzinger, 1973). Accordingly, the emphasis in this paper is on disturbances of the referential process itself.