Echolalia is the repetition of vocalizations made by another person. Echolalia can be present in autism, Tourette syndrome, aphasia, Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, developmental disability, schizophrenia, Asperger syndrome and, occasionally, other forms of psychopathology. When done involuntarily, it is considered a tic.

The word "echolalia" is derived from the Greek polytonic|ἠχώ meaning "echo" or "to repeat", [el icon [ Triantafyllidis Online Dictionary] , "ηχώ", Retrieved on 2007-06-11] and polytonic|λαλιά ("laliá") meaning "babbling, meaningless talk" [el icon [ Triantafyllidis Online Dictionary] , "λαλιά", Retrieved on 2007-06-11] (of onomatopoeic origin from the verb polytonic|λαλέω ("laléo") meaning "to talk").

Immediate echolalia

Immediate echolalia is when a word or phrase is immediately repeated. In some autistic and Asperger's cases it may be a method of buying time to help process language. In an instance a child with autism is asked, "Do you want dinner?" the child echoes back "Do you want dinner?" followed by a pause and then a response, "Yes. What's for dinner?" [Bashe, P. R. "The OASIS Guide to Asperger Syndrome; Advice, Support, Insight, and Inspiration". Crown Publishers, 2001, p. 22. ]

Delayed echolalia

Delayed echolalia has been defined as the "echoing of a phrase after some delay or lapse of time".Fact|date=February 2007 Persons with autism who repeat TV commercials, favorite movie scripts, or parental reprimands are examples used in describing this phenomenon. It may or may not be communicative.Fact|date=February 2007

This condition appears to tap into long-term auditory memory, and for this reason, may be a different phenomenon from immediate echolalia. As it can involve the recitation of entire scripts, delayed echolalia is often mistaken as evidence for higher-than-average intellect.Fact|date=March 2007


Further reading

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  • echolalia — noun Etymology: New Latin Date: circa 1885 the often pathological repetition of what is said by other people as if echoing them • echolalic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • echolalia — echolalic, /ek oh lal ik, lay lik/, adj. /ek oh lay lee euh/, n. 1. Psychiatry. the uncontrollable and immediate repetition of words spoken by another person. 2. the imitation by a baby of the vocal sounds produced by others, occurring as a… …   Universalium

  • echolalia — noun a) The immediate, involuntary, and repetitive echoing of words or phrases spoken by another. b) An infants repetitive imitation of vocal sounds spoken by another person, occurring naturally during childhood development …   Wiktionary

  • echolalia — Involuntary parrotlike repetition of a word or sentence just spoken by another person. Usually seen with schizophrenia. SYN: echo reaction, echo speech, echophrasia. [echo + G. lalia, a form of speech] * * * echo·la·lia .ek ō lā lē ə n the often… …   Medical dictionary

  • echolalia — ż I, DCMs. echolalialii, blm psych. «mimowolne, automatyczne powtarzanie zasłyszanych słów i dźwięków bezpośrednio po ich usłyszeniu; występuje u małych dzieci i u osób chorych psychicznie» ‹z gr.› …   Słownik języka polskiego

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