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[Xmca-l] Re: Acquisition of word meaning



Hi Esther
A post I can (almost) grasp the meaning and significance of - exciting!
Thanks - Raymond W.'s theorisation brings the 'conversation' about
language/wording,  into the world of active humans making their world;
seems as good thing that, and takes theory into 'sensuous human activity' -
I'll try to keep up here[?]
Tom



On 23 July 2014 10:21, Esther Goody <eg100@hermes.cam.ac.uk> wrote:

>
> Xmca folk,
>
> ..........."word actually means 'wording'."
>
> This fits with Herb Clark's insight that to really understand Language, you
> need to see it as 'languaging'. This is about getting away from grammar and
> syntax, to seeing speaking as process - [surely fits with activity theory].
> This has completely altered my understanding of language. Here dialogue is
> central. ie two people are involved, each anticipating and responding to
> the
> other. I think this => looking for the 'social' aspect of 'culture'.
> .....Work in process,
>         Esther Goody
>
> I read your comment:
>
> discussing the concept *word* what is meant is not a noun but something
> much more like an attribute, which would be expressed as a nominal group in
> English but a
> verbal group in Korean. And elsewhere it's clear that the word 'word'
> actually means "wording"--.
>
> I went away and that night heard myself asking if the distinctions between
> *word* and *wording* and the way they are different can also be explored as
> how *word* and *wording* are*related* [form conjunctions].
> Then the question becomes what is *mediating* this conjunction? If I use
> the term *between* to refer to the relation as *word* AND *wording* it
> seems to imply a certain type of conjunction. However, if the relation is
> considered as a *trans* relation [transformation, translation] it seems to
> indicate a more fluid flowing or being *carried* from one *aspect* of the
> relation towards the *other* aspect and also in the reciprocal direction
> without clear distinct boundaries of *word* and *wording*
>
> This also could apply to *event* and *eventing* OR
> could apply to *worded* and *wording*
>
> In 1977 Raymond Williams wrote the book *Marxism and Literature* and in
> Chapter two Raymond explores what he refers to as a wrong turn in our
> understanding when studying the concept *language* and the notion of
> *sign*.
>  Raymond's perspective is the notion of *sign* is a medieval concept which
> has been readopted in modern linguistic thought.
> *Sign*, from Latin, *signum* meant a mark or token which is intrinsically a
> concept based on a distinction between *language* and *reality*.
> Raymond states: sign "is an INTERPOSITION between *word* and *thing* which
> repeats the Platonic interposition of *form*, *essence*, or *idea* but now
> in inaccessible linguistic terms." (page 25)
>
> In contrast to this notion of *sign* Raymond articulates a notion of
> *sign*as a PRODUCT [but not merely a past reified product of an
> *always-given* language SYSTEM.]  Real communicative *products* [which are
> usable signs] are living evidence of a continuing social process within
> which individuals are carried but within which they also actively
> contribute. This understanding of *sign* is AT ONCE BOTH socialization and
> individuation [connected aspects of a single process] which the alternative
> notions of *sign* as *system* or *expression* dissociate as reified
> *language* and reified *society*.
> Raymond also emphasizes his notion of language  rejects the metaphor of
> language as *reflection* of *material reality*  We grasp THIS reality
> THROUGH language, which as practical social consciousness is saturated by
> and saturates all social activity [including productive activity]
> Raymond says this grasping is continuous languaging [wording] which is THIS
> LOST MIDDLE term between the abstract entities *subject* and *object* on
> which BOTH idealism AND orthodox materialism flounder. Language IS this
> articulated social PRESENCE in the world.
>
> Raymond is playing with *word* and *wording* [*event* and *eventing*] and
> it is the conjunction OF *word* and *wording* which he is articulating
>
>
>
> On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 1:16 AM, Bella Kotik-Friedgut <
> bella.kotik@gmail.com
> > wrote:
>
> > Without theorizing I want to share my recent observation of development
> of
> > word meaning in my grandson 3.10. Everyday there is something reminding
> me
> > of LSV. Here are examples of words that still are not full concepts.
> > Driving home at narrow crowded street he proclaims "The street is sad"
> > (atsuv in Hebrew)
> > We ask him what exactly is sad, may be people, but he insists that "The
> > street is sad";
> > Other day I use word single (boded in Hebrew) and he asks what does it
> mean
> > and with a lot of questions try to develop a concept: A child can be
> > single? An adult? When I will be adult? and so on. Sometimes he hears an
> > expression and try to use it in order to test appropriateness: "You cause
> > me a bunch of problems!" (Zarot zrurot) and after our reaction and
> > questions about specific problems he escapes and seemingly gets the idea.
> > So the vocabulary expands very intensively, but the meaning of each word
> is
> > still to be mastered.
> >
> > Sincerely yours Bella Kotik-Friedgut
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 10:52 AM, Ma, James (james.ma@canterbury.ac.uk)
> <
> > james.ma@canterbury.ac.uk> wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > Hi David, for your info, the below article contains an overview of
> > > perspectives on semiotic mediation within sociolinguistics and
> > > sociocultural theory:
> > > http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10749039.2014.913294
> > > Best wishes
> > > James
> > > ________________________________________
> > > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
> >
> > > on behalf of David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
> > > Sent: 19 July 2014 23:12
> > > To: Mike Cole; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Acquisition of word meaning
> > >
> > > Halliday is Vygotskyan. Explicitly so in places: he says that his
> concept
> > > of consciousness as a social being derives from Vygotsky. Ruqaiya
> Hasan,
> > > who sometimes lurks on this list, has written extensively on the
> > > "exotropic" links between Halliday and Vygotsky. At first I didn't
> quite
> > > believe this, because for Vygotsky what develops is a meta-system made
> up
> > > of functions (psychological abilities), while for Halliday what
> develops
> > is
> > > a metafunction made up of systems (linguistic choices). But Gordon
> Wells
> > > persuaded me: he points out that Halliday's "ideational metafunction"
> > (this
> > > is the function that allows us to represent the world as figures of
> > > experience linked by logic, and is realized in nouns, verbs, and other
> > > open-class words) is essentially equivalent to "thinking" and the
> > > "interpersonal metafunction (this is the function that allows us to
> > > exchange commodities such as goods and services or information and is
> > > realized in commands, statements and questions) is essentially
> equivalent
> > > to "speech".
> > >
> > > I think the reason that I didn't get the profound and very
> > > thorough connection between Halliday and Vygotsky (which seems more
> > > endotropic than exotropic to me now) was that I kept assuming that when
> > > Vygotsky says "word" he means something like a noun, as in the block
> > > experiments of Chapter Five Thinking and Speech. But of course even in
> > the
> > > block experiments, what is meant is not a noun but something much more
> > like
> > > an attribute, which would be expressed as a nominal group in English
> but
> > a
> > > verbal group in Korean. And elsewhere it's clear that the word 'word'
> > > actually means "wording"--what is a single word in the mouth of a very
> > > young child is going to be a whole clause in an older child and
> > eventually
> > > an entire text.
> > >
> > > So Mike's example is quite a propos. When I first read this example
> from
> > > Shweder back in 2007, it seemed to me that Vygotsky would say that this
> > > particular "wording" has nothing to do with morality, and of course
> it's
> > > not really a concept. Now I am not so sure: I'm convinced that a lot of
> > > ethical concepts develop out of almost purely esthetic ones, which is
> > > actually a good example of how "perizhivanie" starts by meaning feeling
> > and
> > > only in the course of development comes to mean thinking.
> > >
> > > In China, what girls tell their classmates in high school is that their
> > > "Grandma is visiting" or else that they are "dao mei le" ("doomed").
> This
> > > was a highly prized condition when my wife was in high school, because
> it
> > > meant that you didn't have to go out for physical education and you
> could
> > > stay in and do math homework instead. So one day the boys told the
> > physical
> > > education teacher that they were all "doomed" and could not go either,
> > >
> > > David Kellogg
> > > Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> > >
> > >
> > > On 20 July 2014 03:02, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > While puzzling over all the interesting notes on
> > > > language/thought/emotion/development in recent days I happend upon
> the
> > > > following. It seems a potential object of interpretation that would
> > help
> > > to
> > > > hightlight for us (for me at least) the stakes in the pattern of
> > > agreements
> > > > and disageements and silences in the conversation. Does Halliday
> inform
> > > our
> > > > understanding differently from Vygotsky might be a helpful question.
> Is
> > > > convergence of meaning and generalization manifest?  Anyway, perhaps
> it
> > > > will be of interest:
> > > >  (From an essay on culture's involvement in moral development by
> > Shweder
> > > > and colleagues. Data from Orrisa).
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > *"Mara heici. Chhu na! Chhu na!*" is what a menstruating Oriya mother
> > > > explains when her young child approaches her lap. It means, "I am
> > > polluted.
> > > > Don't touch me! Don't touch me!" If the child continues to approach,
> > the
> > > > woman will stand up and walk away from her child. Of course, young
> > Oriya
> > > > children have no concept of menstruation or menstrual blood; the
> first
> > > > menstruation arrives as a total surprise to adolescent girls.
> Mother's
> > > > typically "explain" their own monthly "pollution" to their children
> by
> > > > telling then that they stepped in dog excrement or touched garbage,
> or
> > > they
> > > > evade the issue. Nevertheless, Oriya children quickly learn that
> there
> > is
> > > > something called "*Mara"* (the term *cchuan* (check spelling) may
> also
> > be
> > > > used) and when "*Mara*" is there, as it regularly is, their mother
> > avoids
> > > > them, sleeps alone on a mat on the floor, is prohibited from entering
> > the
> > > > kitchen... eats alone, does not groom herself and is, for several
> days,
> > > > kept at a distance from anything of value. Children notice that
> > > everything
> > > > their mother touches is washed. (Shweder, Mahapatra, & Miller, 1987,
> p.
> > > 74)
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> >
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