We have noted that autoclitics talk about the controlling variables of primary verbal operants and that philosophers, too, have recognized that sentences talk about themselves.
A tacted controlling variable may have been the cause of the verbal behavior (VB); if so, the VB is true (reacted to as such by listeners).
Skinner's analysis supports the understanding of an operant class of behaviors- verbal behaviors- wherein different members may vary in form while being 'the same' operant because of the similar functional control.
It analyzes the environmental contexts in which particular verbal responses occur.
An analysis of verbal behavior should first determine the units of analysis.
To the contrary, the same verbal response may be controlled by different independent variables in different situations.
While Skinner (1957) emphasized that the verbal operants were independent from each other (Greer & Speckman, 2009; Lamarre & Holland, 1985), more recent research has shown that the acquisition of one operant can facilitate the acquisition of other operants (Egan & Barnes-Holmes, 2009; see Grow & Kodak, 2010).
Sundberg and Partington (1998), for example, translated the elementary verbal behaviors into several operational language skills and created an evaluation and intervention tool from this model called the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS).
According to Michael (1984), the extensive literature on language acquisition does not use the concepts, terms, or analyses presented in Verbal
Behavior (Skinner, 1957).
In recent years training protocols have begun to use Skinner's terminology (Sundberg and Partington, 1998) and a plethora of "verbal
behavior" or "applied verbal
behavior" treatment programs are now widely available.
The first area may be described in general terms as the acquisition of verbal
In VB, Skinner classified verbal
operants according to the type of antecedent control that determines the form of the response.