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Buxbaum, E. (1949). The Role of a Second Language in the Formation of Ego and Superego. Psychoanal Q., 18:279-289.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:279-289

The Role of a Second Language in the Formation of Ego and Superego

Edith Buxbaum, Ph.D.


The ability to learn to speak foreign languages may be dependent on unconscious feelings which are under the control of the superego. The ability to speak and to enunciate a foreign language takes its place among the other forms of speech symptomatology; it is subject to the mechanisms which produce slips of the tongue, stammering, and stuttering; it can be employed as an additional defense mechanism, reinforcing repression, and also as a means of weakening the strength of the superego.

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