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Eidelberg, L. (1944). A Further Contribution to the Study of Slips of the Tongue. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 25:8-13.

(1944). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 25:8-13

A Further Contribution to the Study of Slips of the Tongue

Ludwig Eidelberg

In my former paper upon slips of the tongue (1936a) I described their mechanism as follows: 'A phrase or word which was to have been pronounced has not only a conscious, but an unconscious; significance, the latter representing the gratification of infantile, instinctual wishes. These emanate from the id, and the unconscious part of the ego sets up a defence to prevent their being satisfied. This defence is a twofold process: (a) the instinct fusion which is pressing for gratification is turned against the self, and (b) the opposite type of instinct-fusion is mobilized.' Since writing this I have had opportunities of testing this formulation on a great number of examples and I have found it substantiated. It should not of course be inferred that I have analysed all these examples of slips of the tongue heard by me during the last seven years, for analytical technique does not allow of such an exclusive concentration on one problem alone. Some cases of parapraxis, moreover, have remained unsolved because of the degree of resistance encountered while trying to analyse them. None whose interpretation contradicted my formulation was met with. Beyond this, I have found the same formula applicable to all such psychogenic defence mechanisms as symptoms, perversions and neurotic character traits.

In the present paper I shall devote myself to the study of the phenomenon of narcissistic mortification and its rôle in slips of the tongue.

Every slip of the tongue represents a limitation of the power of the ego of short duration.

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