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Wiethaeuper, D. Bouchard, M. Rosenbloom, S. (2004). Linguistic styles and complementarities in analyzing character. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(6):1455-1476.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(6):1455-1476

Linguistic styles and complementarities in analyzing character

Daniela Wiethaeuper, Marc-André Bouchard and Steven Rosenbloom

This paper discusses and illustrates some technical implications of D. Liberman's contributions to character analysis. Psychoanalysis is an extended conversation, and character structure is expressed linguistically as part of an interactive linguistic field. Liberman's notions of linguistic styles and communicative interaction define a unique analytic surface from which to examine the syntactic, semantic and pragmatic aspects of character. The presence of a rigid and defensive linguistic style reflects resistance and communicative impasse within the transference and countertransference matrix. A fully interactive communicative experience integrates all aspects of the conversation and allows both participants to take part in a shared semantic field, the precondition to the generation of new meanings. Liberman suggests responding to mis communication by means of a methodical linguistic attitude. Various such complementary responses are explored through several vignettes, with a particular focus on the interplay of the epic and narrative modes.

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