Types of (pro)nominal deficiencies in formal thought disorder in schizophrenia

On December 15, 2015 by Joana Rossello

Researchers: Wolfgang Sebastian Schmeisser Nieto, Antonia Tovar Torres and Catalina Morey Matamalas

In this study we focus on (pro)nominal reference in Formal Thought Disorder (FTD). Although problems in the deictic anchoring in schizophrenia have been pointed out as distinctive by Crow, how other types of nominal and pronominal expressions are (mis)used or (mis)understood in schizophrenia is far from well-known. In this regard, some results were already obtained by Moya (1989) for FTD, but a sound characterization is still lacking. Working on the same exceptional corpus that Moya collected and analyzed (clinical interviews of 37 (almost) non-medicated FTD patients), we aim at obtaining a grammatically fine-grained picture of the contribution that different types of DPs make to the failures of reference in FTD. We also analyze pure copulative constructions (formed by the verb to be). As schizophrenia patients show deficits in referentiality, it is expected to find more problems in copular structures than in the rest of constructions.  Overall, this project aims at providing empirical data which allow us to piece together the grammatical profile of schizophrenia.

Preliminary results

Our preliminary results show that:

  1. The bad nominal ratio is significatly worse than the bad pronominal ratio.
  2. The bad covert pronominal ratio is significantly worse than the bad overt pronominal ratio.
  3. The bad copular ratio is borderline significant in comparison with the bad non-copular ratio.




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