Slips of the Tongue: Speech Errors

Nobyembre 24, 2009

Most often than not, speech errors occurred in oral form of communication rather than in written form. In conversation, what matters most to the speaker is to convey the meanings and intentions of his message to the listener. As a result, a speech error is produced. A speech error is a speech pattern that differs from some standard pattern. Speech errors are common among children, who have yet to refine their speech, and can frequently continue into adulthood.

Here are some example of speech errors that I have observed as well as my own explanation as to why it occured:

Utterance (Error): I’ll forgive you because your explanation is unreasonable.
Target: I’ll forgive you because your explanation is reasonable.
Context: Conversation with my friend.
Type of Error: Semantically based substitution errors — antonym substitution or it can be also addition reasonable — unreasonable (morpheme)
Explanation: In the planning of an utterance many concepts would become activated that would not actually appear in the utterance. My friend actually planned to say reasonable but unreasonable appeared in her utterance.

Utterance (Error): I love my dog, it’s a pompitz.
Target: I love my dog, it’s a pomspitz. (Pomeranian+Spitz)
Context: When my younger sister (age 5), excitedly tells something about our pet she used pompitz instead of pomspitz.
Type of Error: Deletion: Pomspitz — pompitz (sound)
Explanation: Various sounds develop at different ages in children. There is a developmental sequence.

Utterance (Error): Ok, stip one skage, I’m in the next level!
Target: Ok, skip one stage, I’m in the next level!
Context: A teenager burst this expression while playing on-line internet games with his friends.
Type of Error: Spoonerism – is an error in speech or deliberate play on words in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched
Explanation: These are accidental interchanges of sounds between words. This amusing cluster of word-initial transposition errors occurred naturally. Consonants were more frequently transposed than vowels.

Utterance (Error): Hey, stay in the widewalk!
Target: Hey, stay in the sidewalk!
Context: A girl warned her friends while they are strolling.
Type of Error: Anticipation: sidewalk — widewalk
Explanation: Maybe the girl bursted widewalk instead of sidewalk because her friends is in danger so it just slipped in her tongue to her surprise.

Utterance (Error): Please look in the cable of contents to find your topic.
Target: Please look in the table of contents to find your topic.
Context: One of my groupmates (in college) said this in our meeting.
Type of Error: Anticipations: table of contents — cable of contents (sounds)
Explanation: Where an early output item is corrupted by an element belonging to a later one

Utterance (Error): Could you close the window?
Target: Could you open the window?
Context: My mother instructed me to open the window.
Type of Error: Semantically based substitution errors — antonym substitution
Explanation: My mother would certainly have processed the presupposition that the window was open. As a result the concept for open might be active, and because of the spreading activation, the word associated with [it] would become activated, resulting in the slip Could you close, I mean open …..”

Utterance (Error): Is that a coocumber?
Target: Is that a cucumber?
Context: My cousin (age 6) asked me this question.
Type of Error: Deletion: Kyoo-kum-br — koo-kum-br (sound)
Explanation: My cousin because of her age might be confuse with the right pronounciation of the term cucumber that’s why she had a speech error.

On the other hand, there are treatments or ways available to improve speakers’ speech fluency. Try to read “SpellCheF: Spelling Checker and Corrector for Filipino” by Charibeth Cheng, Cedric Paul Alberto, Ian Anthony Chan, and Vazir Joshua Querol. You can download this article at this website (http://ejournals.ph/index.php/JRSCE).

Note: Read also about speech errors and its type to further expand you knowledge regarding the topic that I presented to you.


One comment

  1. magandang thesis yan

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