Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 December 2008
Linguists and psychologists have noted the potential value of studying speech errors since the 1890s (Meringer & Mayer 1895; Freud 1938; Fromkin 1973; MacKay 1972). The reasoning has been that involuntary errors may lay bare certain aspects of the speech production system which are hidden in normal, errorless speech. Today we are closer than ever before to realizing this hope, because (a) we have more complete samples and analyses of spontaneous errors (Fromkin 1973; MacKay 1970; Garrett 1975) and (b) because of considerable success in recent years in attempts to elicit errors of varying complexity in the laboratory (MacKay 1971; Baars & Motley 1974; Motley & Baars 1976). This paper reports some extensions of the experimental approach, extensions which apparently enable us to elicit almost any arbitrary error at any level of complexity.