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RE: [xmca] "Inner Form" of Word, Symmetry, Ivanov Bateson?
Earlier on this thread, Natalia Gajdamaschko wrote that Vygotsky replaced the Potebnian idea of "inner form of the word" with "inner speech", and Martin objected. But Professor Gajdamaschko's idea is apparently shared by V.P. Zinchenko and J.V. Wertsch.
"It appears that Vygotskii did not so much supplement Shpet's ideas about the inner form of the word as he replaced them with the notion of the 'inner form of speech'." (p. 48)
Zinchenko, V.P. and J.V. Wertsch (2009) Gustav Shpet's Influence on Psychology. In
G. Tihanov (ed.) Gustav Shpet's Contribution to Philosophy and Cultural Theory. West Lafayette: Purdue 45-55.
(There's actually a LOT here that Martin would object to, including the p. 49 evaluation of Vygotsky's "Historical Significance of the Crisis in Psychology": "Looking back, one is staggered by the obvious inconcruity between this formulation and the facts at the time." )
I guess I agree that Vygotsky does NOT mean what Potebnia means: he does NOT think that the "inner form" of a statue of Themis has the "inner form" of justice and the "outer form" of a woman with a big knife and a pair of balances.
I think that Vygotsky means something that is current, which is loosely used, and which his readers would recognize as an old idea, rather the way we recognize the ZPD today. I think he wants to make it more precise, and that is why he only actually uses the term "inner form" in a very few places (e.g. Chapter One).
In Chapter Seven, he ends Section Two with a clear distinction between, on the one hand, what he calls the "phasal" aspects of language (in which he includes not simply phonetics but also lexicogrammar--anything syntagmatic, anything linear, anything requiring the dimension of time) and on the other hand what he calls the "semantic" aspects of language (in which he includes not simply semantics but also semasiology, the question of what one can do with a particular word or wording as well as the question of what that wording means in terms of other wordings). These are "planes" of external speech; they exist in everything we say, including what I am writing right now ("Now" is phasal in its composition but semantic in its meaning), and they are the result of long ages of functional differentiation leading to structural differences.
He begins the next section with the remark that this "semantic" plane is only the beginning, though. Behind this plane lies inner speech, and this too has a (much attenuated and reduced) phasal aspect and a (much strengthened and expanded) semantic aspect. Now, the question I have is--does this speech have words, and if so, can we consider the words that it has to be Vygotsky's equivalent of the "inner form of the word".
Here's my answer (which I rather suspect is not going to be much to Martin's liking!). Just as Vygotsky includes both sounding and wording (and even some meaning, in the form of intonation) in the "phasal" aspects of external speech, we can find at least three different "layers" in every plane, from external speech to thought, and possibly even in feeling, but they grow less and less differentiated as we proceed "inwards".
The outer plane is always (in relation to the inner plane) relatively stable and fixed, because it is under the control of social interaction and speech norms, while the inner plane is always fairly labile, because it is in the sway of the thinking of the speaker and the pragmatics of interpersonal interaction. Vygotsky considers inner speech to be MORE dialogic than external speech, which in turn lies midway on a continuum between written texts and inner speech (This is where Martin will accuse me of having too much Bakhtinian water in my Vygotskyan wine, but it's all there in Chapter Seven.)
In order to illustrate this, I want to use (you guessed it) a dialogue from our fifth grade English book. This is, of course, external speech, although it includes some "egocentric" self-directed speech, as we'll see. Nami is late for school, and she is looking for her pencil case.
Nami: Mom! What time is it?
Mom: It's eight.
Nami: Eight?! Oh, no! I'm late. Where's my pencil case?
Mom: Pencil case? It's under the table.
Namsu: That's MY pencil case.
We can see that the UPWARDLY intonated phrases ("Eight?" and "Pencil case?") are both MORE dialogic and MORE close (structurally, functionally, genetically) to inner speech.
So we can GUESS:
LAYER ONE: INNER SPEECH SOUNDINGS
Outer plane: Inner stress, inner intonation (e.g. the inner equivalents of "Huh?" "Wow!" "Oh, no!")
Inner plane: The inner speech equivalents of vowels and consonants (much contracted, emphasis on initial consonants of words and also on expressive vowels, e.g. the inner equivalent of "Yeaaaa", "hmmmmm", "Nooooo!" but also "T'amo..." or "J't'aime')
LAYER TWO: INNER SPEECH WORDINGS
Outer plane: Inner grammar (As Vygotsky says--and as we can see in the dialogue and the examples above--this is almost entirely PREDICATIVE; it consists, at least from the speaker's point of view, of stressed rhemes and not themes, the inner equivalents of "Eight?" "OMG!" "Pencil case?").
Inner plane: Inner vocabulary (especially what Wolff-Michael Roth calls words with strong emotional valence, but also words that are ideationally charged, as we see in the examples).
LAYER THREE: INNER WORD MEANING
Outer plane:Inner pragmatics (e.g. what Halliday calls "interpersonal meanings", and what Vygotsky refers to as everyday concepts, for example Mom's warning to Nami, Namsu's declaration of ownership of the pencil case under the table, )
Inner plane: Inner semantics (e.g. what Halliday calls "ideational meanings", and what Vygotsky refers to as "academic concepts", Nami's lateness)
And then on to thought itself, of course, where I think the analogy with the structure of speech no longer holds, because, as Vygotsky says, "inner speech is still speech", but thinking is not. So think we can no longer really expect speechlike structures!
Seoul National University of Education
--- On Thu, 6/2/11, christine schweighart <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
From: christine schweighart <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: [xmca] "Inner Form" of Word, Symmetry, Ivanov Bateson?
Date: Thursday, June 2, 2011, 5:39 AM
On inner speech and 'imperative', I was influenced in this by Peter Jones of Sheffield Hallam. In my associations I related the procedural modelling attending to word meanings in the imperative in soft systems' modelling as a way of bringing back out already acquired and 'habituated' method - for collaborative inspections and consideration ( including moral)..
When I mentioned 'Maturana has the social as not autopoietic but medium of organism' I needed to point out that the 'observer domain of the relational for an individual person is also already 'social' medium in relation to autopoiesis..
Which I why if I am taking this influence as making sense , the individual in social relations in activity ( in transformative activist stance) all are simultaneous - I think this is congruent with Stetsenko's 'all three dimensions simultaneously emerge' - that was in the article that Larry Purss oriented me to p484 Cult Stud of Science Education 2008 (3).
In my interest in environmental education I also relate to Jay Lemke's exploration of 'feeling' as a strong orientation as well as meaning - this is congruent with Maturana's stance of the emotional being the ground of our relational orientation:). It also helps in indigenous cultural mediation where 'meaning' can elide .
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