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[xmca] Intensions in context and speech complexity ; From 2-?

Dear Peter, David, Andy, Mike, and all,
Thank you Peter, for opening a discussion on internalization.  It is an extremely difficult discussion. Thank you Mike, Andy, David for helpful points.
Well, in being very honest, I am disturbed by many of the claims/accusations regarding Vygotsky, such as : “Crudely put, the internalization model assumes that the signhood of language units has already been established by ‘society’ and that these already signifying units then implant themselves into the individual’s psyche.” So many points I hope more people will have time to discuss. I am not sure why the word “linguistics” was used. I have never heard of a Vygotskian linguistics before as such….and, the words “language theory” and “semiotics” have taken on an incredibly polarizing position for many….Clearly, viewing certain aspects of Vygotsky’s thoughts on language within a fragmented framework is something that needs to be discussed in general….it is very sad for me to often see ideas within polarized debates, where, for example, activity is dislocated from signs; or internalization is subordinated to appropriation (in
 some cases), etc.  Here, I was especially  discouraged to read the few words on Luria….I felt so sad that Luria’s approach to language was not considered in a deeper fashion….I am not trying to simply criticize….but, we must be aware that a very extended reading of Vygotsky in context is so extremely important….it would be helpful to place his thoughts within the history he lived in and was influenced by….W. von Humboldt, A. A. Potebnya, up to the semiotics of Sergei Eisenstein….to then include art, aesthetics, poetry, defectology, etc.  For me, understanding Vygotsky must take place on a higher metacognitive, metatheoretical level….to solve any problem, as I understand Vygotsky, we must stand higher, taller than the problem. There will never be a clear explanation of internalization, nor consciousness, etc. within concrete thinking alone, and certainly not within linguistic theory. I would think that the attack would be against
 Western linguistics, not Vygotsky. If we want to understand Vygotsky’s thoughts on language and semiotics (people do not need to be so opposed to semiotics, because it is not used as a single explanatory theory….however, there is no cultural activity without the meaningful use of signs, etc.), we cannot overlook the theories of A. A. Leontiev. For those interested, please check the Journal of Russian and East European Psychology (Vol. 44, Nrs. 3 and 4, 2006). Regarding internalization…..many have written on that, and I have as well (2001, 2003), and we need to re-read many ideas of many people. Most of all we must transcend 3-dimensional thinking. There are many levels of internalization (Andy stated this), just like the ZPD, etc.…..And, until we start to view Vygotsky’s thoughts on language from a metacognitive perspective, then fragmented, concrete dialogue  will be simple arguing for the sake of argument, in my opinion…it is what we do
 with these theories that matter. If we want to get closer to some understanding of “internalization,” I would think that linguistics would not be the place to go to for answers. It is the development of psychological functional organs (as opposed to morphological organs) that can be studied as the result of internalization, not internalization itself (although a number of neuroscientists are doing very interesting work). I will close with a quote from E. V. Aidman and D. A. Leontiev : (“From being motivated to motivating oneself: A Vygotskian perspective. In  Studies in Soviet Thought, 41,1991): “It is stressed that the interiorization process is not merely a move of a function from without, but rather the process of building the inner (mental) structure of consciousness. The word ‘interiorization’ should be thus considered as a metaphor depicting the result rather than the process of development of higher psychological functions” (p.
 143). ....Again, I want to stress the need to read A. A. Leontiev and A. R. Luria when speaking of language theories....I have attached an un-published, old paper on Luria, with no time to re-read it, and with no references....the reason I am sending it (and feel free not to look at it) is to simply see the overall complexities needed in a discussion of language theories within the Vygotskian framework.....I agree with Peter that so little has been written on this important aspect of Vygotsky....and, I appreciate Peter's attempt to push us all in this direction.
With warm regards to all,


Attachment: Luria.doc
Description: MS-Word document

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