Language and Neuropsychiatric Disorders: An Analysis of Communication among Trilingual Schizophrenics in Nakuru Level Five Hospital in Nakuru County, Kenya

  • Joseph Maina; Eliud K. Kirigia; James Ogola Onyango
Keywords: Triadic code-switching, disorganized language, hallucinations, delusions


The main objective of this study was to describe the thought disturbance manifestation in code-switching patterns of trilingual schizophrenics in Nakuru Level Five Hospital. Schizophrenia is a grievous and chronic mental disorder that affects the way a person thinks, behaves and feels. Schizophrenia victims may appear like they have lost touch with reality. Sometimes these patients seem perfectly fine until they talk about what they are really thinking. They may not make sense when they talk. The symptoms can be observed directly in their language, most importantly, disorganized language. Disorganized language is a spoken language that fails to communicate effectively or follow a coherent discourse plan. It is a manifestation of positive formal thought disorder, or it reflects an underlying impairment of verbal thought. The diagnosis of schizophrenia relies entirely on language. A purposive sample of six respondents consisting of three females and three males of diverse age groups was investigated. Using a phenomenological qualitative research design, data was collected, compiled, described and analyzed underpinned by the un-Cartesian Linguistic Theory and the Multilingual Production Model. The main instrument of data collection was Thematic Apperception Test, open-ended interviews, audio recording and observation. Results from this study indicate that trilingual schizophrenics manifest illogical triadic code switch patterns involving mother tongue, Kiswahili and English resulting in a deviant language in code-switching patterns. This study will benefit scholars in linguistics, medical practitioners and the general public.