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Singer and Wynne's measures of communication deviance were adapted for use with conversational speech and applied to audiotaped speech samples of schizophrenic patients, their parents, and matched nonpsychiatric control subjects. The parents demonstrated levels of language disturbance similar to those of the patients and higher than those of controls. Language deviance in the parents was positively associated with distractibility on a matched-task digit-span measure of attention and with severity scores on a separate schizotypy scale. These findings are discussed with respect to possible cognitive variables underlying the language disturbances and their potential relevance to schizophrenic etiology.