Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Automatic Language

  • Roberta DePompeiEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_866


Nonpropositional language


Automatic language is the use of nonpropositional language forms. Even if the patient is unable to converse at all, he or she may produce automatic responses. These responses may be (a) automatized sequences, counting, reciting the alphabet, and saying the days of the week; (b) memorized sequences, prayers pledge of allegiance; (c) recurrent social speech, “Have a nice day” and “How are you?”; and (d) emotional speech: cursing or a typically stated sentence when emotionally upset. It is important to note that these types of responses are not clearly thought out and are not under the cognitive control of the patient. These responses do not represent propositional language skill and should not be considered as a conscious attempt to participate in conversational situations. Automatic language can be found in severe aphasias and in many dementias. It may also occur in mental health problems such as schizophrenia.


References and Readings

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  3. Chapey, R. (Ed.). (2001). Language intervention strategies in aphasia and related neurogenic communication disorders (4th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  4. Davis, G. A. (2014). Aphasia and related cognitive-communicative disorders. Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
  5. Papathanasiou, I., Coppens, P., & Potagas, C. (2013). Aphasia and related neurogenic communication disorders. Burlington: Jones and Bartlett Learning.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Speech-Language, Pathology and AudiologyUniversity of AkronAkronUSA