Language performance in chronic schizophrenia: A pragmatic approach

Sara R. Meilijson*, Asa Kasher, Avner Elizur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-713
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Language
  • Pragmatics
  • Schizophrenia


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