[Ads-l] Schizophrenia antedating (1909, 1908 in German)

dave at WILTON.NET dave at WILTON.NET
Wed Jan 8 16:19:13 UTC 2020

Back in 2006 (IIRC), Fred Shapiro posted to this list a questionable 1910 use of the word in an article title. (The OED has 1912.) He found a bibliographic citation, but couldn't find the original article. I haven't seen a follow-up, and my apologies for the duplication if there was one.

The citation Fred found got the date wrong. It was a 1909 article. The article is:

Brill, A. A. “A Case of Schizophrenia (Dementia Præcox).” American Journal of Insanity, 66.1, July 1909, 53–70.

>From the article:

"The works of the Zurich school, and of other investigators, have amply demonstrated these facts, and it is for these reasons that my former chief, Prof. Bleuler, to whom I am indebted for this case, repudiates this meaningless term, dementia præcox, and uses Schizophrenia." (69)

And there is this a year earlier in German:

Bleuler, E. "Die prognose der dementia praecox–schizophreniegruppe" (The prognosis of the dementia praecox–schizophrenia group). Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatric und Psychisch-Gerichtliche Medizin, 65, 1908, 436–464.

Aus diesem Grunde und weil man von dem Ausdruck Dementia praecox keine adjektivischen und substantivischen Weiterbildungen machen kann, erlaube ich mir, hier das Wort Schizophrenie zur Bezeichnung des Kräpelinschen Begriffes zu benützen.

(My rough translation: For this reason and because one cannot make higher educational use of the adjectival and substantive phrase dementia praecox, I take the liberty to use the word schizophrenia here to describe the term of [Emil] Kräpelin.)

--Dave Wilton

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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