A grammatical analysis of the spontaneous L2 English use of schizophrenic bilinguals compared to typical bilinguals 1

Smit M. ; Conradie S. ; Schoeman R. (2011)


The study reported in this paper aimed to investigate whether the grammatical errors made by schizophrenic bilinguals in their spontaneous second language (L2) use are typical L2 learner errors, as reported previously. Southwood et al. (2009) report on a case study of a schizophrenic patient who expressed a preference for his L2 when he started presenting with psychotic symptoms. Southwood et al. (2009) note that the majority of the grammatical errors made by this patient in his spontaneous L2 use are typical of L2 learner language use. To determine whether the grammatical errors made by schizophrenics are similar to or different from those made by typical L2 English speakers, we employed Morice and Ingram's (1982) assessment tool for the grammatical analysis of the spontaneous L2 speech of four schizophrenics and four (non-psychotic) controls who were matched to the schizophrenics in terms of age, gender and first language (L1) and L2 dialects. Following a comparison of the types and frequency of the two groups' phonological, morphological, semantic and syntactic errors, it was found that the two groups differed significantly only in terms of their semantic errors. It is, therefore, concluded that semantics is the locus of language-related problems in schizophrenia. © 2011 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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