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Re: [xmca] Edward Sapir, and Poehner and Lantolf

Hi All--

Does everyone know that the paper under discussion is available free at
xmca? just click on
http://lchc.ucsd.edu/MCA/index.html and you are led to the articlel


On Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 10:20 PM, David Kellogg <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com>wrote:

> Larry-
> I didn't actually write any of that. It's from Vygotsky, and of course
> Vygotsky got it from Sapir, and I got it from the original English text of
> Sapir's book, which I bought a long time ago.
> The current article (Poehner and Lantolf) associates the UAH with the
> linguistic views of Chomsky, and somewhat paradoxically with psychological
> views that greatly anticipate Chomsky. It's certainly true that Krashen
> refers to Chomsky and mentions the LAD in his early work, but his view that
> "learning" does not turn into "acquisition" is really a Piagetian
> opposition, and his idea that exposure to comprehensible input creates a
> slow accumulation of morphemes owes a lot to associative psychology. So
> Poehner and Lantolf are actually rather closer to the mark when they
> attribute the "dualism" of implicit/explict knowledge, learning/acquisition,
> etc. to the kinds of dualisms that Vygotsky is talking about in the
> Historical Meaning of the Crisis in Psychology.
> There's a similar attempt to try to affiliate Vygotsky with Saussure, e.g.
> in Enrica's misguided attempt to affiliate Vygotsky's later, very mature
> Sapirean views with his early flirtation with formalism in Psychology of
> Art. For example, it's assumed (in the Russian edition of his Collected
> Works) that the reference to phonemes and to the most prominent linguist of
> his day is a wary tribute to Saussureanism. People in my line of work like
> to deny that Vygotsky had any coherent theory of language at all (e.g.
> Mitchell and Myles). But in fact he did care a lot about linguistics and
> this passage proves it. He rejected Saussureanism; he embraced the work of
> Sapir.
> And so do I. When Stern says that the child discovers that "everything has
> a name", this is false on TWO fronts: first of all, the child does NOT
> discover that at all, and cannot discover it, because there are far more
> things in the world than can be dreamt of in the child's lexicon, or for
> that matter in that of the adult, and secondly because every THING may have
> a name, but if that name is simply "thing" then this discovery doesn't
> amount to very much.
> But when Sapir says that every word is a generalization, and that it must
> be shared to be a sure, objective, and linguistic generalization, then I sit
> up and listen. This is the "objective", sociological, basis, not only for a
> linguistics, but for a psychology based on that linguistics.
> You say: "If Sapir  is CORRECT about the elements of language and speech
> that must be
> GENERALIZED BEFORE BECOMING SYMBOLIC he then makes a presupposition that
> the person must FIRST gather together the INDIVIDUAL IST PERSON experiences
> BEFORE they can be EXPRESSED in the 3RD PERSON rhetorical format that is
> linquistic and SELF-REFERENTIAL."
> No, it seems to me that it suggests EXACTLY the opposite. It suggests
> that BEFORE the person can gather together individual first person
> experiences they must be expressed and understood to be expressed by those
> in the person's environment.
> I don't think that it follows that they have to be expressed in the third
> person, unless we understand "third person" to mean "the other". But
> the second person ("you", and, as you pointed out, the very young child's
> Royal "we") is used to express the experience of the other in English, as
> well as the experience of the self. Consider the following example from
> Sacks:
> Q: Why did you want to kill yourself?
> A: For the same stupid reason that everybody else wants to kill themself.
> Q: And why is that?
> A: You just want to find out who cares.
> If we are talking about an objective, language experience (and therefore
> a conscious psychological one) then http://lchc.ucsd.edu/MCA/index.html
> You say: "Terms such as 'reflection' and 'recognition' are often assumed to
> also be self-referential 3RD person REFERENTIAL narrative constructions that
> are CONSTITUTED within linquistic processes."
> Again, I don't understand why it has to be in the third person. But I
> COMPLETELY agree with the underlying idea, that reflection and recognition
> are not pre-existing conditions; they come from other flections and other
> cognitions, and that is why we mark them with the prefix "re-".
> You say: "I want to tentatively propose [expecting a ton of feathers to
> descend on
> my head] that there may be a THIRD way of 'communicating' experiences that
> is NOT 1st person phenomenological nor 3rd person referential [observing
> spectator]   This is the 2ND person 'We consciousness' of being
> 'seen' [GAZE OF THE OTHER while OTHER is RECOGNIZED by self.]"
> I have a really beautiful piece of data to support this. The teacher is
> trying to play a guessing game. The guessing game is too complex to explain
> in English and the teacher doesn't want to use Korean in English class. So
> she holds up the number one and says "This number is TWO", expecting the
> kids to say "yes" or "no". The kids answer "one", and of course the
> teacher indicates that she is unhappy with this answer. But--believe it or
> not--the kids eventually DO figure out how to play the game, because they
> are so VERY good at figuring out what the teacher is TRYING to do, just from
> the indications of her unhappiness.
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
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