Parasitic Language

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This paper presents initial thoughts about the phenomenon of parasitic language. This is a language which clings to the other’s linguistic patterns and in doing so produces a double manifestation of omnipotence and impotence; a language that forges a linguistic “prosthesis,” and while allowing for a false manifestation of language and thinking, constitutes thoughts as foreign objects that are mechanically and artificially “stuck” to the speaking subject. The early roots of this language, as illustrated in a detailed analytical case description, inhere in the infiltration of language by multi-generational traumatic traces. This turns language itself into a scene of simultaneous repetition of the act of salvation and the act of annihilation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-547
Number of pages21
JournalPsychoanalytic Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, © The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 2020.


  • Parasitic language
  • multi-generational trauma
  • omnipotence
  • perversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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