Re: [xmca] Antirecapitulationism and the Logical Impossiblity of Social Progress

From: David Kellogg <vaughndogblack who-is-at>
Date: Sun Apr 06 2008 - 15:33:30 PDT

No problem, Martin!
  In Halliday's 1992 essay "How do you mean?" (Collected Works, Vol. 1, p. 354) he says:
  "We have often pointed out that it takes two to mean; but we still tend to refer to consciousness as if it was an individual phenomenon, with the social as an add-on feature. I would prefer the Vygotskyan perspective, whereby consciousness is itself a social mode of being."
  I asked Halliday about this when I met him in Tokyo, and he said that he doesn't refer to Vygotsky much because he finds that when people do they do not mean what Vygotsky meant, but that he DOES mean what Vygotsky meant.
  The first page of the grammar is Halliday and Matthiessen, Introduction to Functional Grammar, third edition, p. 3, where he says the grammar purports to answer the question "Why does the text mean what it does (to me, or to anyone else)?" To me and to Widdowson, this suggests that a grammar, which necessarily decontextualizes language, can explain how texts mean.
  Widdowson criticizes this view at BOOK LENGTH in his 2004 work "Text, Context, Pretext: Critical Issues in Discourse Analysis", which is essentially a reworking of his Ph.D. thesis. See especially 16-35, Chapter Two.

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Received on Sun Apr 6 15:35 PDT 2008

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