Word of the Day

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

echolalia

\ek-oh-LEY-lee-uh\ , noun;
1.
The imitation by a baby of the vocal sounds produced by others, occurring as a natural phase of childhood development.
2.
Psychiatry. The uncontrollable and immediate repetition of words spoken by another person.
Quotes:
At the time when speech is being learned, there begins a period of echolalia in which the child repeats with tireless continuation all the words or sentences it hears; either completely, or else their closing cadences.
-- Kurt Koffka, The Growth of the Mind: An Introduction to Child Psychology
These "terrestrial echoes" where the "swamp's echolalia," according to Kiwi, who liked to make geography as pretentious as possible.
-- Karen Russell, Swamplandia!
I had cultivated a mild sort of insanity, echolalia, I think it's called. All the tag ends of the night's proofreading danced on the tip of my tongue.
-- Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
Origin:
Echolalia originates from two Greek roots: echo derived from the name of the mythic nymph Echo fabled to have pined herself away to nothing but her name, combined with lalia meaning "talk or prattle."
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