- inner speech
- Also known as inner language, internalized speech, inner thought, and self-talk. All five terms are used interchangeably to denote speech spoken by oneself without vocalization (also referred to as verbal thought or 'thinking in words'). The content of inner speech is typically depicted as an argument with oneself over a course of action to be taken, a rehearsal of what one is going to say or do, or a reassurance to comfort oneself. In this reading, inner speech is conceptualized as being quite similar, grammatically as well as syntactically, to sentences actually spoken. However, inner speech has also been conceptualized as an idiosyncratic kind of shorthand for the language used in actual speech. It was in the latter sense that the term inner speech was introduced in Myshlenie i Rech ' (commonly - although not entirely correctly - translated as Thought and Language), a book by the Russian developmental psychologist Lev Semenovich Vygotsky (1896-1934) which was published posthumously in 1934. Starting from the thesis that the earliest language learned by infants has a social connotation, Vygotsky argues that at a certain age this original social speech becomes divided into egocentric speech and communicative speech-for-others. He conceptualizes inner speech as a form of egocentric speech that is not only silent but also quite condensed in comparison with speech-for-others. Accordingly, he considers it as being basically unintelligible to others - if it were to be heard aloud - due to its grammatical and syntactical peculiarities. In Vygotsky's view, inner speech may be regarded as a psychological interface between culturally sanctioned symbolic systems (such as natural languages) and private thought (which in his view is not necessarily linguistic in nature). The mediation of inner speech is associated primarily with neurophysiological activity in Broca's area (i.e. the left inferior frontal region of the brain). Vygotsky's notion of inner speech played an important part in the development of the " inner speech model for verbal auditory hallucinations, which dominated neuropsy-chological thinking on verbal auditory hallucinations (VAH) from the 1980s onwards. However, it was Modell's concept of "hallucinated inner speech rather than Vygotsky's original notion of inner speech that helped to shape this explanatory model.ReferencesModell, A.H. (1958). The theoretical implications of hallucinatory experiences in schizophrenia. Journal ofthe American Psychoanalytical Society, 6, 442-480.Pintner, R. (1913). Inner speech during silent reading. Psychological Review, 20, 129-153.Vygotsky, L. (1986). Thought and language. Translation newly revised and edited by Kozulin, A. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.