Paola Pennisi

«Scrummy Foam Rubber». Reflections on the Relationship Between Linguistic Cognition and Pica

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Keywords: Linguistic Cognition, Language, Pica, Aristotle, Semantic Memory

In this article, starting from the Aristotelian notion of language as «breath of the soul», we will reflect on the relationship between language and impulses by analyzing the case of pica. Pica is the systematic ingestion of inedible substances. The article will analyze some of the different etiopathogenesis from which the disorder originates: nutritional deficiencies, neurodegenerations, brain injuries, psycho-social stress. It will be argued that the different etiologies of the disorder have in common an alteration of the relationship between linguistic cognition and praxis with world objects. This alteration of the relationship may be due to a loss of linguistic cognition (as occurs for example in those forms of neurodegeneration which are associated with a deficit in semantic memory) or to a pathological symbolic shift in the meanings of words and consequent way of relating to objects.

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