Part 6 Neurolinguistics




These refer to what can be presupposed as being present or ‘true’ in any communication.

The Different Types of Linguistic Presuppositions:
See if you can identify the different types of Linguistic Presuppositions in the examples below. The first one is done for you. The audio recordings will explain further
1. Existence: Listen for Nouns (names of things). E.g. ‘ Bob left a message.’ (Bob = Proper Noun, message = Common Noun)
2. Possibility/Necessity: Listen for Modal Operators.
 ‘We might be able to do that first.’
 ‘I really need to finish this today.’
3. Cause–Effect: Listen for “makes”, “if…then”, “because”
 ‘If you listen to the CDs then you will learn more quickly.’
 ‘Working together on this makes it easier, doesn’t it?’
In Cause-Effect one thing causes another and the cause is a probable ‘reality’. This is true, at least in the mind of a complainant. E.g.‘He pushed me, that’s why I dropped it! It wasn’t my fault!’ There is always a time-lapse, however short, in a ‘Cause –Effect Linguistic Presupposition’. The ‘events’ are sequential.
4. Complex Equivalence: Listen for “is”, “are”, “means”.
 ‘More sales mean bigger bonuses.’
 ‘She is crying, so she is obviously missing John.’
In Complex Equivalence the cause – effect is assumed, because there is an absence of certainty. Here, increased sales may lead to larger bonuses but there is no direct, absolute link. It is more
A=B; both elements are put on an equal footing, and they happen at the same time.
5. Awareness: Listen for Verbs relating to the senses: ‘I can see (verb) what you mean.
 ’ I’m getting (verb) to grips (verb) with this now.’ Your turn. Underline the Verbs relating to the senses.
 ‘I hadn’t known about this until you showed me.’
6. Time: Listen for Verb tense, (-ing, -ed verb endings etc.) and words such as:
 “stop”, “now”, “yet”.
 I’m going to stop doing this now.                                                                                                                                                                                                               7. Adjective/Adverb: Listen for words adding detail to Nouns and Verbs.
 ‘He’s a difficult (adjective) customer (noun).’ The word ‘difficult’ is describing the ‘customer’, thereby adding more detail.
 ‘Push (verb) slowly (adverb) until you feel the gear engage.’ The adverb ‘slowly’ is telling you how to do the verb ‘push’; again, adding detail.
8. Exclusive OR/ Inclusive OR (the basis of Double Binds): Listen for “or”. ‘The Exclusive Or’ gives an illusion of choice. No matter which one you pick you end up doing the same thing. This is the basis of Double Binds, which you will learn more about in the section on the Milton Model.
 ‘Do you want to do that today or tomorrow?’
‘The Inclusive Or’ really does provide a choice.
 ‘ Do you want chips or new potatoes with that?’
9. Ordinal: Listen for lists, numbers, orders, and sequences.
 ‘Firstly, I want you to follow instructions, secondly, be present and aware and thirdly, have fun!’




In the following sentences, identify whether each statement is a presupposition or mind-read. Put a ‘P’ or an ‘MR’ next to each one:
1. “I’ll get it right, the next time I do it.”
____ a. Last time he did this, he failed.
____ b. He’s done this before.
____ c. He knows the difference between right and wrong.
____ d. He can do this (whatever this is).
2. “So why can’t I do this like my colleagues?”
____ a. He feels that he is treated unfairly.
____ b. He wants to be liked by his colleagues.
____ c. This person’s colleagues do something he doesn’t.
____ d. He can do this (whatever this is).
3. “I won’t get this sale if I don’t learn how to negotiate better.”
____ a. He feels like a failure.
____ b. He doesn’t know how to negotiate.
____ c. He can learn new behaviours.
____ d. Getting the sale is connected to his negotiating skills.
4. “I’ve got to change.”
____ a. He can change.
____ b. He knows something is wrong.
____ c. If he doesn’t change something bad will happen.
____ d. He’s a she!
5. “I have to learn what I need to learn before I can change.”
____ a. There is something he needs to learn.
____ b. He knows there is something wrong.
____ c. He is in control of his life.
____ d. His ability to change is connected to him learning something.


In the following sentences, please state what is presupposed:
1. “The cat sat on the mat.”
2. “If my brother does that again, I’ll have to ask him to leave.”
3. “Would you like something to drink while you consider making this purchase?”
4. “It was his excellent rapport that made me want the job here.”
5. “We might be able to finish building this pond before it gets dark.”
6. “If only I’d learnt to communicate better, I’d have got the promotion.”
7. “It wasn’t the first time I’d taken on more than I can handle.”
8. “Her attention to detail means she is good at sales.”
9. “Now I could see we had a big problem that wouldn’t be easy to solve.”
10. “Only you can do it.”
11. “Would you like this model in red, blue or black?”
12. “The next thing you need to do is decide you want us to do the job.”
13. “’Rock and Roll’ just makes me want to get up and dance.”

What Is Linguistic Change



Exercise – Chunking



In the English Language


The arrows indicate the tone of voice used in the type of sentence. Each W stands for a word. Obviously, sentences can have any number of words. The use of three is purely for diagrammatic purposes.
 In order to ask a question in English, the inflection goes up on the last word said. “Do you have this lampshade in green?”
 A statement has an even tone throughout its delivery. “The delivery was sent out this morning.”
 To give a command, the tone goes down on the last word. “Do as you’re told.”

You can also form a sentence in a syntactic pattern in the form of a Question, Statement and Command, while using any of the above tonalities.
N.B. By far, the most powerful syntax in the English Language, is a Questioning Syntax given with a Command Tonality. In the example below, the last two words are delivered in a downward command inflection of the voice, making an apparent question, into an order to ‘complete it by
four o’clock’. The response to a question given in a Command Tonality is usually, ‘Yes’. “You can finish that by four o’clock, can’t you?”

In the following sentences, identify whether each statement is a presupposition or mind read. Put
a ‘P’ or an ‘MR’ next to each one:
1. “I’ll get it right the next time I do this.”
MR a. Last time he did this he failed.
P b. He’s done this before.
MR c. He knows the difference between right & wrong.
P d. He can do this (whatever this is).
2. “My colleagues do this so why can’t I?”
MR a. He feels that he is treated unfairly.
MR b. He wants to be liked by his colleagues.
P c. This person’s colleagues do something he doesn’t.
P d. He can do this (whatever this is).
3. “I won’t get this sale if I don’t learn how to negotiate better.”
MR a. He feels like a failure.
MR b. He doesn’t know how to negotiate.
P c. He can learn new behaviours.
P d. Getting the sale is connected to his negotiating skills.
4. “I’ve got to change.”
P a. He can change.
MR b. He knows something is wrong.
MR c. If he doesn’t change, something bad will happen.
MR d. He’s a she!
5. “I have to learn what I need to learn before I can change.”
P a. There is something he needs to learn.
MR b. He knows there is something wrong.
MR c. He is in control of his life.
P d. His ability to change is connected to him learning something.

In the following sentences, please state what is presupposed: (N.B. All sentences, without exception, contain Presuppositions of Existence.)

The Milton Model

Hypnotic Language Patterns
1. Mind Reading:
This refers to you claiming to know the thoughts or feelings of another, without specifying how you know what they are thinking or feeling.
 “I know that you are wondering…”
 “You’re confused I know…
2. Lost Performative: This is the name given to a statement that makes a judgement but does not specify who made the judgement in the first place.
 “It makes a lot of sense…”
 “Learning is easy…”
3. Cause & Effect: The name of a statement that implies that one thing causes another: “…causes…”, “If… then…”, “As you… then you…”, “Whilst…then…”, “…makes…”
 “As you listen to the CDs then you learn more easily.”
 “Because you’re listening, understanding will follow.”
 “Thinking this way will make you feel better.”
4. Complex Equivalence: Where two things are stated as being the same or having the same meaning.
 “and that means…”
 “The more you listen to the CDs, means the more you will learn.”
5. Linguistic Presuppositions: These are the equivalent of ‘assumptions’ in language.
 “You are learning many things…”
 “And you are easily absorbing all the language patterns.”
6. Universal Quantifiers: Words that have the following characteristics:
a) Universal generalization and
b) No referential index.
c) E.g. All, every, never, nobody, always.
 “Every meeting, it’s always the same people arguing.”
 “Nobody tells me anything!”                                                                                                                                                                                                                       7. Modal Operators:
Words which imply Possibility/Impossibility or Necessity/Negative Necessity or Desirability. They tend to form the rules we have in life and include words like: will, can, can’t, may, must, should, need.
 “I can’t get it right.”  “Simply because we have to.”
 “I shouldn’t have done that.”  “I’d love to!”
8. Nominalizations:
These are where process words, the verbs, have been ‘frozen in time’ by making it into a name of something, a noun.
 “It will provide you with new insights and understanding.”
 “There’s a lack of communication in this place.”
9. Unspecified Verbs: The listener is forced to supply the meaning of the sentence. Words like: do, move, change, remember, think, know, understand etc.
 “…and you can,”  “I want you to learn.”
10. Tag Questions:
This is the addition of a closed question added to the end of a statement, to displace resistance.
 “You can, can’t you?”  “…weren’t they?”
 “It was fun, wasn’t it?”
11. Lack of Referential Index: A statement in which it is not clear to whom, specifically, the statement is referring.
 “You can, you know, learn language patterns easily.”
 “You know the feeling…”
12. Simple Deletions Recovering the awareness of experience or sensory input.
 “I’m confused.” About what exactly?
 “She’s nice.” How specifically?
13. Comparative Deletions: (Unspecified Comparison)
Where a comparison is made and it is not specified as to what, or to whom, the comparison was made.
 “That’s the major difference between learning this way.”
 “And it’s more or less the right thing to do.”                                                                                                                                                                                         14. Pacing Current Experience:
Describing the client’s experience, either internal or external, in a way that is undeniable and verifiable to them.
 “and as you sit there, looking at me, listening to me, (etc.)…”
 “As you copy the diagram on the flipchart you…”
15. Double Binds: A paradox, where an illusion of choice is created but no matter which option is taken, the outcome is the same.
 “You’re unconscious….. can link all the learning it needs instantaneously, or maybe even quicker than that.”
 “Will you have your bath before, or after, your goodnight story?”
16. Conversational Postulate: The communication has the form of a closed question to which the response is either a yes or a no, which creates the Internal Representation of something you want the client to do. It allows the client to choose to respond or not and avoids authoritarianism.
 “Do you realize this is something you can do?”
 “Will you feel more comfortable doing this without your jacket on?”
17. Extended Quotes:
Because it is not possible to discern where one quotation leaves off and the next one begins, it distracts the conscious mind by the use of many referential indices.
 “Last month I bumped into my friend John, who told me that Doug had gone on a training with Richard who said…”
18. Selectional Restriction Violation:
A sentence, which is not well formed, in that it gives human characteristics, such as feelings, to inanimate objects.
 “The budget dictated that they had to complete it in a single day.”
 “The car knew its way home.”
19. Ambiguities:
a) Phonological: Where two words sound the same yet have different meanings. Here/Hear/Ear Right/Rite/Write/Wright There/Their/They’re Knows/Nose To/Too/Two No/Know
 “I know the rite Wright uses to write right, but no, I don’t know the right rite for you to write right!” b) Syntactic: Where the function (syntactic) of a word cannot be immediately determined from the immediate context.
 “Hypnotising hypnotists can be difficult.” (Are the hypnotists difficult to hypnotise, or is it that they are hypnotising others here?)
 “They are visiting relatives.” (Have ‘they’ gone out to visit their relatives, or are they the relatives visiting here?)
 “Running water.” (Can water run?)
c) Scope: Where it is difficult to work out which portion of a sentence a word applies.
 “Speaking to you as a parent…” (Am I the parent referred to, or is it you, or both of us?)
 “The old men and women…” (Are the women old too or is just the men?)
 “The weight of your hands and feet…” (To which are you referring, or is it both?)
d) Punctuation: – Run on sentences:
 “It’s time to look at your watch how quickly you can change.” – Pause at improper places.
 “Imagine seeing the staircase…as you go into trance.” – Incomplete sentences: The sentence is left unfinished
 “I know that you are wondering. . .”
20. Utilisation: Utilise everything that happens or is said, by mentioning what is verifiable and using the speaker’s language. A person says: “I’m not convinced.” Response: “That’s right, you’re not convinced yet and that’s because you haven’t yet done the one exercise that will have you
totally and absolutely convinced.” OR in another example a trainer uses light streaming into the room to induce a trance:
Trainer: “Notice how the shaft of light from the window lightens the room as you become more comfortable, lighter, and lighter…”                                21. a) Embedded Commands:
These are orders/directives, that are ‘embedded’ within the sentence that instruct or direct a person to do something. Effectively, this is a double message which sends one message to the conscious mind and another message to the unconscious mind.
 “You will absorb all the learnings.”
 “I don’t know if you’ll remember this now or later.”
22. b) Embedded Questions: This is a sentence with a question included to which an overt reply is neither required nor expected.
 “I wonder whether you know which hand will rise first.”
 “If you were to know when…are you going into trance…”
23. Analogue Marking:
Marking out a part of a sentence verbally with pauses or emphasis, or non-verbally with gestures.
 “You can… go into trance… nowww!”
 “Will you …let your eyelids close…” Putting it all together:
“I know that you are wondering… and it’s a good thing to wonder… because … that means…it makes sense…doesn’t it…you are learning many things…I know you know…you know…it makes a lot of sense because I can see it in your eyes and that means you are changing many things on every level, all the time, simply because you may; one can, you know, …create new learnings, new insights, because you knew you’re new… and you can, can’t you? It’s good to know people can…you know…that’s the major difference between learning this way and as you sit there, looking at your manual, listening to me on your CD you’re unconscious…..can make all the integrations it needs instantaneously or maybe even quicker than that. Do you realize this is something you can do? I…remember several years ago, being at a seminar the trainer mentioned that a friend of his had worked with Milton
and his client had said that his budget dictated that he had to change in just one session and he said that’s right….write the right amount on the check it’s OK with your unconscious ….. knows that hypnotizing hypnotists can be difficult so speaking to you as someone who knows it can be easy…does it. Do you feel this… is something you understand…can you not?”

The Milton Model 

The Milton Model patterns 1-6

The Milton Model Patterns 7-12

The Milton Model Patterns 13-19


1. Mind Reading:
I know you are curious…
I know that you’re learning a lot in today’s sessions.
I’m in no doubt that you’re fully aware, (aren’t you?)
I know you are thinking about things…
I’m sure you feel good now.
I bet you’re better at this than you thought you were.
I can see that you’re happy.
I can tell that you know a lot about this.
I knew you were curious how quickly you would master this.
I understand that you can learn quickly.
Now add your own examples:

2. Lost Performative:
It’s good to recall all the times you were successful.
It is important to be able to remember things easily.
It’s good to study hard.
It’s fantastic that you can change so easily.
It’s best to add some of your own examples here now.
Learning is easy…
…and it’s good to be that way.
That’s right.
Now add your own examples:

3. Cause & Effect:
(Note: Embedded commands are in italics.)
If I help you on this bit, then you’ll learn this easily.
Don’t sit in the comfy chair, unless you want to go into trance.
Each breath will make you become more relaxed.
As you listen closely, you will learn faster.
Because you have completed the pre-study, you are going to learn NLP easily.
Since you’re reading these examples, you can think of several more in a short
space of time.
Now add your own examples:

4. Complex Equivalence:

The more you study, the more you learn.
Sitting here quietly means that you are going inside.
Reading this manual means that you are learning.
That’s a brilliant question which means you already understand this.
Taking a deep inbreath means you are going even more deeply into trance.
Having got this far means you can write more examples of this pattern.
Now add your own examples:

5. Presuppositions:
Being an intelligent person you will be able to learn this easily.
And I bet you can do this even better.
Have you noticed how much you’re learning?
People are changing all the time.
I don’t know if you’ll feel more relaxed before or after you close
your eyes.
Have you noticed how easily you learn language patterns.
Now add your own examples:

6. Universal Quantifiers:
Nobody’s perfect.
All day, every day, it’s the same thing!
Everything you have learned will be useful at some point.
After all you have learned from listening to the accompanying CDs.
It’s all good.
All you know is available to you somewhere in your unconscious.
You can never learn everything about a subject.
Every day brings new opportunities.
Now add your own examples:

7. Modal Operators (of Possibility or Necessity):

You should push the boundaries if you want to be the best you can.
You could learn this now, easily.
You must seize the day.
You must be ready by now.
It’s possible to change overnight.
You can learn this.
You need to be dressed smartly for the interview.
Now add your own examples:

8. Nominalisations:

It’ll provide you with new learnings.
You can trust in the process to get the required result.
Accessing your inner knowledge will give you greater understanding.
Allow yourself to notice the new feelings.
There’s a lack of communication in this department.
My relationship isn’t working.
I could do with some help here.
I just don’t seem to have any motivation.
Now add your own examples:

9. Unspecified Verb:
I was wondering.
If you knew.
Just let go.
You’ll be sorry if you don’t.
She hurt me.
Now add your own examples:

10. Tag Question:
Didn’t you?
Isn’t it?
Have you?
Will you?
Won’t you?
Haven’t you?
Don’t you now?
Don’t you think?
Now add your own examples: (Whole sentences will help you here.)

11. Lack of Referential Index:
People can learn.
One can easily see.
A person can, you know. . . .
It puts people through changes.
Everyone knows.
Now add your own examples:

12. Comparative Deletions:
You will enjoy it more.
You’re doing better now.
You’re going deeper and deeper. . . .
Sooner or later you will understand.
This is more or less the right time.
You’re a better person than you were before.
The difference between these CDs is that they teach you NLP more easily.
Now add your own examples:

13. Pacing Current Experience:
You hear my voice.
and you’re sitting here.
As you notice each blink.
As you continue breathing. . . .
and as you breathe in. . . and out.
Now add your own examples:

14. Double Binds:
Do you want to begin now, or later?
As you dream, or upon awakening. . . .
Would you like to buy the car now, or test-drive it first?
Would you rather do that before or after your meeting?
You can go into a light trance, a medium trance, a deep trance or you might not even
notice the trance at all. Any is fine.
Now add your own examples:

15. Conversational Postulate:
Can you reach that level now?
Would it be all right to feel good?
Do you know that you know it already?
Could you open your mind for a moment?
Does this sound like it will work for you?

Now add your own examples

16. Extended Quotes:
Last year, I met a woman who said she knew a student
who had mentioned
that his mother told him. . . .
that David said in a training seven years ago,
that he’d heard a story about when
Richard Bandler was quoting
Virginia Satir, who used to say that…
Now add your own examples:

17. Selectional Restriction Violation:
The walls have ears.
That nail hurt my tyre.
What did your actions say to you?
My car loves to go fast.
The recession dictates that we go carefully with expansion.
Now add your own examples:

18. Ambiguities:
a) Phonological Ambiguities:
You’re / Your
There / Their/ They’re
Here / Here
Son / Sun
I / Eye
Weight / Wait
Insecurity / In security
Now add your own examples:

b) Syntactic Ambiguities:
Hypnotizing hypnotists can be tricky.
Selling salesmen can be hard work.
Fascinating people can be difficult.
They were auditing accountants.
Now add your own examples:

c) Scope Ambiguities:
Your deep breathing and trance. . . .
The smiling men and women.
The disturbing thoughts and noises.
Speaking to you as a child.
Now add your own examples:

d) Punctuation Ambiguities (a run-on sentence):
Let me take your hand me the pen.
I was looking for my tie. . . into this thought.
If you hear any ambiguities, it’s all right to write them right here.
I’m just making sure you can hear you are ready to learn easily.
Now add your own examples:

19. Utilisation:
Person: “I don’t think I understand this.”
Practitioner: “That’s right, you don’t understand this yet and that’s because I
haven’t told you the one thing you need to totally get it.”
Practitioner: “Are you in a trance?”
Person: “I don’t think so.”
Practitioner: “That’s right. You don’t think so and that’s because you are
evaluating trance with your conscious mind and it’s…..your
unconscious…..mind you’ve gone into a trance with.”
Now add your own examples:

Have a go at writing your own Milton Model Script using the previous pages to guide you

Additional Patterns

Exercise – The Milton Model

1. Gather information:
a) What’s the problem?
b) What do you want instead?
c) What stops you having it now?
d) What’s most important to you?
e) What do you most enjoy?
f) What hobbies do you have?
2. Lateral Chunking
a) What is this an example of?
b) What are other examples of this?
3. Create a bridge from the Present State to the Desired State in a way that there is no conscious connection. By taking the person’s Present State and Desired State and using the information about them, create a story, a metaphor that moves from something that stands for/symbolises their Present State and through a series of happenings, ends at the Desired State, however, that is symbolised, having the person as the main character.
Listen to the Audio recordings Module 8 on ‘Transformational Metaphors’ for a detailed guide to the process of creating metaphors.
4. Deliver the metaphor. (Tell the story!)

Introduction To The Meta Model

Meta Model Compass Level One

Meta Model Compass Level Two

Meta Model Compass Level Three

Meta Model Compass Level Four & Five

1. Mind Reading
People think I’m boring.
How do you know that people think you are boring?
I know you must think I’m a bit slow.
How do you know I must think you are a bit slow?
2. Cause & Effect (X Causes Y)
She makes me so angry.
How does what she is doing make you so angry?
How does she make you so angry?
3. Complex Equivalence:
Everyone hates me. No-one talks to me.
How does no-one talking to you mean that everyone hates you?
Do you ever not talk to people you like?
4. Lost Performative:
This is by far the easiest way to do it.
Easiest according to whom?
He’s not a very nice chap.
Who says?
5. Universal Quantifiers:
You never listen to me.
I always make a mess of things in the end.
So there’s never been one time when you didn’t make a mess of things?                                                                                                                                              6. Nominalisations
I lack motivation.
How would you like to be motivated?
How would you know if you were motivated?
What would you like to be motivating yourself to do?
I need some help here.
How would you like to be helped?
What does help mean to you?
7. Modal Operators:
I can’t do this.
What stops you?
I shouldn’t do it really.
What would happen if you did?
8. Simple Deletions
I’m puzzled.
What are you puzzled about?
I like him.
What about him do you like?
9. Comparative Deletions:
That’s a better idea.
Compared to what?
10. Lack of Referential Index
This is easy to learn.
What, specifically, is easy to learn?
Everyone is essentially, a learner.
What, specifically, is a learner?                                                                                                                                                                                                                      11. Unspecified Verbs:
She lashed out at me.
How, specifically, did she lash out at you?
I’m totally confused now.
How, specifically, are you confused?
12. Non-Referring Nouns
Politicians are crooks.
All politicians?

Review of Meta Model

Exercise – Meta Model

Module Review

Temporal & Spatial Predicates