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Slip-of-the-Tongue Errors

Page history last edited by Antony Tran 7 years ago








     Slips-of-the-tongue are speech errors in which intended utterances are rearranged between other words or sounds. According to psychologist Gary Dell, slips-of-the tongue are significant because they show a person's widespread knowledge about language, including its sounds, structures, and meanings. There are three types of slip-of-the-tongue errors. These types include sound errors, morpheme errors, and word errors. A sound error occurs when the sounds in words close by are exchanged. For example, instead of saying "flower pot," one says "power flot." A morpheme error occurs when morphemes, which are the smallest meaningful units in language, are switched in words close by. For example, instead of saying "self-destruct instruction," one says, "self-instruct destruction." Word errors occur when actual words are rearranged. For example instead of saying, "reading a book to my dog," one says, "reading a dog to my book." 

     Slips of the tongue can be either conscious or unconscious. According to Sigmund Freud, slips-of-the-tongue reveal the thoughts and desires of the unconscious mind. These slips-of-the-tongue are called Freudian slips, or parapraxes.  

     In addition to sound errors, morpheme errors, and word errors, which are also called exchange errors, there are three other slip-of-the-tongue errors. These include anticipation errors, perseveration errors, and deletion. A anticipation error occurs when a latter word in a sentence replaces an earlier word in the sentence. For example, instead of saying "reading list," one says "leading list." Anticipation errors are also the most common phonological slip. A perseveration error occurs when an earlier segment replaces an latter item. For example, one would say "black bloxes," instead of "black boxes." A deletion is the last in this list and it occurs when some of the letters in a word is left out. For example, saying "unamity of opinion," instead of "unanimity of opinion." 

      Furthermore, one is more likely to create an existing word (leading), rather than a made up word (wabbit) when we make these slip-of-the-tongue errors. In addition to this, one is less likely to create a word with a odd letter sequence such as "dlorm," rather than "dorm."     

    Related Links                         


Slips of the Tongue: Windows to the Mind

This site provides more specific details about slip-of-the-tongue errors and what they tell us about the human language and mind.


9 Political Slips of the Tongue

This article provides examples of political leaders who have mistakenly inserted slips-of-the-tongue in their speeches.


The Slips Page

This site provided by Bowling Green State University explains the different types of slips in great detail and provides many humorous examples.


A Lesson in Linguistics From the Mouths of Babes 

This New York Times article focuses on slips in children's speech to provide insight on how children learn language.


Things People Said

This site gives many humorous examples of spoken and written slips-of-the-tongue. It provides examples from headlines, news reports, radio broadcasts, and many more.


Obama/Osama Video Slip

In this video, a man questioning President Obama about possible buildup of troops in Afghanistan mistakenly mispronounces Osama Bin Laden's name.


George Bush Freudian Slip

In this video, George Bush Sr. makes what is not only a slip-of-the-tongue, but also a potential Freudian slip due to its sexual nature.


Freudian Slip Info

This site provides more in depth information about Freudian Slips and also contains links to more information about Freud himself and his psychological theories.


Freud's Parapraxis and Psychoanalysis

This psychology article gives the history of the Freudian Slip, or parapraxis, and insight into Freud's use of psychoanalysis.


What We Can Learn From Slips-of-the-Tongue  

This site shares what we clan learn from slips-of-the-tongue. It provides information about Freud, examples, and tables to better understand the different types of slips.

News About Heating Prices

This YouTube video shows a new anchor talking about the increases on heating prices but says something else.  


American Psychological Society

A website having a short explanation of a study on the slip-of-the-tongue phenomenon with a PDF file. 


News Cast About Mountain Climber

Another YouTube video that shows a news cast talking about a mountain climber but says something slightly off topic. 


The Facts and a Stratificational Model

This is a PDF from Rice University explaining more in depth about slip-of-the-tongue and it's frequency and an experiment. 


Avoiding Slips of the Tongue

It is a website with some tips to help out with slip-of-the-tongue errors. 


Speech Errors in First and Second Language Production

This website explains slip-of-the-tongue in relation to first and second language speaking. 


Slips and field of linguistics

This is a PDF on the relationship between slip-of-the-tongue and linguistics.  


Speech Error List

This website from Ohio State has a small list of the types of slip-of-the-tongue errors with examples of each.


Production Errors

This website shows an extension of slip-of-the-tongue that is for sign language called "slips-of-the-hand"


Slip Up Joke

This website has a small joke on the slip-of-the-tongue errors. 



This website was created by Morgann Belcher. To the best of my knowledge, none of this material is copyrighted. However, if there is a problem, please email me at morgannelaine45@gmail.com

This website has been edited by Antony Tran. 


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