Speech error

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A speech error is a non-canonical aspect of an utterance that was not intended by the speaker.

Mispronunciations or speech errors can be divided into different types.

  1. anticipations: 'a leading list' (for 'a reading list')
  2. perseverations: 'at the beginning of the burn' (for 'at the beginning of the turn')
  3. reversals or spoonerisms: 'heft lemisphere' (for 'left hemisphere')
(Examples are taken from Fromkin 1973)


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


Related terms


  • Fromkin, Victoria A. (ed.) 1973. Speech errors as linguistic evidence. The Hangue: Mouton.
  • Fromkin, Victoria A. 1973. 'Slips of the tongue', Scientific American 229, 1973, 114.
  • Fromkin, Victoria A. (ed.) 1980. Errors in linguistic performance: Slips of the tongue, ear, pend and hand. New York: Academic Press.

Other languages

German Versprecher/Sprechfehler