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Coriat, I. (1927). The Oral-Erotic Components of Stammering. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:56-62.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:56-62

The Oral-Erotic Components of Stammering

Isador Coriat

In a communication on stammering published in 1915 it was pointed out that we were dealing with a psychoneurotic disturbance, the chief mechanism of which was a conflict produced by resistance against betrayal through speech of certain repressed trends of thought, preeminently of a sexual nature. These repressed trends were found on analysis to refer principally to the Oedipus situation, certain sexual acts or thoughts, masochistic phantasies, tabooed words relating to the sexual, urinary or anal functions (forbidden coprolalia), and, finally, the pleasure relating to early stages of the organization of the libido. Further analytic experience has tended to confirm and widen these observations, and has furnished material for a clearer and more definite formulation of the problem of stammering as a psychoneurotic disorder, particularly as more attention was concentrated on the part played by the oral libido. It will be the purpose of this communication to discuss the effect of this pre-genital oral libidinal tendency upon the pleasure-principle involved in the speech of stammerers and the results of the persistence of this tendency upon the character formation.

In my earlier work the relation of the ego and the libido development was not worked out in detail, but further observation of the oral manipulations, displacements and expression of stammerers has served to illuminate certain aspects of the problem which have hitherto remained obscure. The problem of stammering can be understood only if we analyse and interpret the stages in the ego and libido development through the various phases of pre-genital organization to adult character formation, and submit our empirical observation of these oral-erotic phases of the libido to clinical investigation. This is best accomplished by an analytic study of the motor speech symptoms of stammerers and by reducing their complex mechanism to a more simple formula.

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