CLANG ASSOCIATION

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An association of words or ideas by similarity of sound.Young children often use clang associations when they talk or sing to themselves. A typical example is “Pit, Pat, Putt, Puff, Muff, Tough”. Many nonsense rhymes are based on clang associations: “Ana manna mona mike, Barcelona bona pike.” Nonsensical talk of this kind is believed to provide valuable practice in the sound and rhythm of language.Clang associations are also found in a number of psychiatric conditions, particularly in manic states and schizophrenia. In such cases they are part of a more general disturbance of thought termed “flight of ideas.” Patients with this symptom talk in a rapid, disconnected manner, and frequently jump from one idea to another only on the basis of superficial sound associations. Noyes and Kolb (1963) cite a case in which a patient was asked, “Are you sad?” His immediate reply was, “Yes, you have to be quiet to be sad. Everything having to do with ‘s’ is quiet— on the qt—sit, sob, sigh, sign, sorrow, surcease, sought, sand, sweet mother’s love, and salvation. This is my first case —I am kind of a bum lawyer or liar— to demand honesty, to be a lawyer, so had to be a liar.” Speech of this sort is sometimes attributed to a “loosening of associations,” and is taken as evidence of psychotic disorganization of thought.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "CLANG ASSOCIATION," in PsychologyDictionary.org, November 28, 2018, https://psychologydictionary.org/clang-association/ (accessed June 28, 2022).

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