From Introspection to Essence: The Auditory Nature of Inner Speech

In Peter Langland-Hassan & Agustin Vicente (eds.), Inner Speech: New Voices. Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
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To some it is a shallow platitude that inner speech always has an auditory-phonological component. To others, it is an empirical hypothesis with accumulating support. To yet others it is a false dogma. In this chapter, I defend the claim that inner speech always has an auditory-phonological component, confining the claim to adults with ordinary speech and hearing. It is one thing, I emphasize, to assert that inner speech often, or even typically, has an auditory-phonological component—quite another to propose that it always does. When forced to argue for the stronger point, we stand to make a number of interesting discoveries about inner speech itself, and about our means for discriminating it from other psycholinguistic phenomena. Establishing the stronger conclusion also provides new leverage on debates concerning how we should conceive of, diagnose, and explain auditory verbal hallucinations and “inserted thoughts” in schizophrenia.

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Peter Langland-Hassan
University of Cincinnati


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