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  Life   More Features  11 Oct 2017  Sleep-talkers engage in aggressive, abusive but 'grammatically correct' conversations: Study

Sleep-talkers engage in aggressive, abusive but 'grammatically correct' conversations: Study

THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Oct 11, 2017, 12:03 pm IST
Updated : Oct 11, 2017, 12:08 pm IST

The study published in the journal Sleep tracked sleep-associated speech in 232 adults.

The study published in the journal Sleep tracked sleep-associated speech in 232 adults. (Photo: Pixabay)
 The study published in the journal Sleep tracked sleep-associated speech in 232 adults. (Photo: Pixabay)

A new study has found that while sleep-talkers engage in more aggressive talk than polite, more often than not they manage to be 'grammatically correct'.

The study published in the journal Sleep tracked sleep-associated speech in 232 adults.

The French researchers who headed the study found that sleep-talkers follow the patterns of a typical conversation, and those who suffered from it even took pauses to let the other person ('the inaudible others') speak their part.

The study revealed that men abused more in their sleep than women, and that the most commonly used word was 'No'.

‘Sleep-talking may correspond to the “punch-line” of a conversation, the emergent, most violent part of the iceberg of covert speech, increasing the negativity of the language and verbal abuse,’ the researchers wrote in the study.

While the participants rarely used the French equivalent of the f-word while awake, the word was observed at a rate over 800 times higher when they were sleep talking.

Polite or kind words were observed only 12 times from 361 episodes.

In one example, a participant was recorded saying ‘Liar! I’ll slap you in the face if you sign it.’

The researchers observed subjects across several nights, tracking the number of words along with propositions and speech episodes, frequency, gaps and pauses, and other factors.

This study is considered to be one of the largest investigations into sleep-talking.

The researchers wrote in the journal: ‘Language during sleep is mostly a familiar, tensed conversation with inaudible others, suggestive of conflicts.’

It has helped to provide new insight on this phenomenon and the findings have challenged long-held beliefs that sleep-talkers become child-like during episodes.

‘Sleep talking parallels awake talking for syntax, semantics, and turn-taking in conversation, suggesting that the sleeping brain can function at a high level,’ the researchers added in the study.

So while sleep-talkers may get more abusive and aggressive in their sleep, it was found that they were grammatically correct and followed normal adult speech pattern.

 

Tags: sleep talking, profanities, french, syntax, semantics, conversation