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Caropreso, F. (2020). Sabina Spielrein’s theory of the origin and development of language. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 101(4):706-723.

(2020). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 101(4):706-723

Sabina Spielrein’s theory of the origin and development of language

Fatima Caropreso

In recent years, a growing acknowledgement of the importance and originality of Sabina Spielrein’s theoretical and clinical work has taken place. However, few studies have been specifically devoted to a thorough analysis of her theory, so a satisfactory understanding of her thinking has not yet been fully achieved. The objective of this article is to contribute to the understanding of Spielrein’s theory of language, based on the analysis of her two main papers on the subject, “The Origin of the Child’s Words ‘Papa’ and ‘Mama’” (1922) and “Some Analogies between the Thought of Children, Aphasia, and the Subconscious Thought” (1923). Reference is also made to some hypotheses formulated in her first works in order to clarify the assumptions of the theory of language she advances in the early 1920s. It is argued that Spielrein developed an original psychoanalytic perspective on language. She brought about an innovative contribution to the understanding of the origins and functioning of both language and thought, articulating linguistic and neurological knowledge with psychoanalytic hypotheses and her own observations.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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