"With this slip I prove thee real" The Psychological Reality of Some Linguistic Units: Evidence from Colloquial Cairene Arabic Speech Errors

Heba Nayef, Mohamed El-Nashar


Since the early 1970s, the field of psycholinguistics has witnessed a surge in speech errors research in English and various European languages. Research work done in Arabic in this respect remains little, however. This study, drawing upon evidence from a corpus of 1102 spontaneous Colloquial Cairene Arabic (CCA) speech errors addresses the psychological reality of various linguistic units on three levels of analysis: phonological, syntactic and lexical. On the phonological level, the study shows that segment or phone (consonants and vowels), phonetic features and the syllable are all psychologically real units of performance, while consonant clusters are not 'unitary units' of performance. On the syntactic and lexical levels, the study showed that the only way one can account for various speech errors that occur on those two levels will be by assuming the existence of syntactic features, syntactic categories morpheme, and the word as real performance units and not just hypothetical descriptive ones. The paper also investigates the controversial issue of the beginning of speech error research.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v6i6.6412

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