Glossolalia(Speaking in tongues)

Speaking in tongues, (glossolalia) is an activity or practice in which people utter words or speech-like sounds, often thought by believers to be languages unknown to the speaker. 

It is the fluid vocalizing of speech-like syllables that lack any readily comprehended meaning. 

It is a pseudo-language that lacks consistent syntax, semantic meaning, usually rhythmic or poetic in nature and is similar to the speaker’s native tongue. 

In some cases, as part of religious practice, it is believed to be a divine language unknown to the speaker.

It is practiced in Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity, as well as in other religions.

Glossolalic speech does resemble human language in some respects, as the speaker uses accent, rhythm, intonation and pauses to break up the speech into distinct units. 

Such units are made up of syllables, the syllables being formed from consonants and vowels found in a language known to the speaker.

It is a verbal behavior that consists of using a certain number of consonants and vowels in a limited number of syllables that in turn are organized into larger units that are taken apart and rearranged pseudogrammatically.

With glossolalia there are variations in pitch, volume, speed and intensity.

It consists of strings of syllables, made up of sounds put together more or less haphazardly but emerging as word-like and sentence-like units because of realistic, language-like rhythm and melody.

The sounds are taken from the set of sounds already known to the speaker.

Language is used to communicate but glossolalia does not. 

It is a meaningless but phonologically structured human utterance, believed by the speaker to be a real language but bearing no systematic resemblance to any natural language, living or dead.

Glossolalia was accorded high status in the ancient world due to its association with the divine. 

During the 20th century, glossolalia primarily became associated with Pentecostalism and the later charismatic movement. 

Glossolalia is classified as a non-neurogenic language disorder, as most people exhibiting glossolalia do not have a neuropsychiatric disorder.

Neuroimaging of brain activity during glossolalia does not show activity in the language areas of the brain.

It may be characterized by a specific brain activity, and it can be a learned behaviour.

Two basic types of glossolalia: a static form which tends to a somewhat coaction to repetitiveness and a more dynamic one which tends to free association of speech-like elements.

Speaking in tongues is associated with a reduction in circulatory cortisol, and enhancements in alpha-amylase enzyme activity – two common biomarkers of stress reduction that can be measured in saliva.

Sociological studies report social benefits of engaging in glossolalia,such as an increase in self-confidence.

Glossolalia has a lack of consistency needed for meaningful comparison or translation. 

It is not used to communicate between fellow glossolalia speakers, although the meaning might be translated by the leader.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *