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[Xmca-l] Re: Halliday and Vygotsky



Surely any respectable guru should be handing down the the deed rather than
the word?  :)





On 1 September 2014 18:56, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:

> We are students, here, Henry. An imposter would someone who poses as a guru
> who hands down THE WORD, not one who seeks to understand.
>
> I believe that among many important distinctions David introduced, the
> emphasis on development, on change over time, is an important
> differentiator among scholarly traditions under discussion. We imagine we
> see many affinities, locally, among (for example) the DCOG approach of Ed
> Hutchins and his colleagues and LCHC folks. But was also see our different
> emphases on development as a difference that makes a difference -- a topic
> of ongoing discussion and exploration.
>
> There are many such in David's recent posts.
> mike
>
>
>
>
> On Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 9:07 AM, Henry G. Shonerd III <hshonerd@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > David,
> > Let me start by saying I feel like an imposter taking part in this dialog
> > at all, so new to XMCA and so short on deep knowledge of Vygotsky (though
> > I've tried for many years to get there!) and totally lacking in a
> knowledge
> > of Halliday, so many years since I have read from his work. Sorry about
> > that. However, I am glad that I weighed in a few days back by introducing
> > Langacker into the conversation and totally appreciate you would respond.
> >
> > I am sure that your contrast between Halliday and Langacker are well
> > taken, however I think that, for me, the important contrast is not
> between
> > Langacker and Halliday, but between Langacker and Halliday, on the one
> > side, and Chomsky on the other. This is important for the historical
> > development of linguistics as a discipline, in the U.S. at least, in the
> > same way that William James, and Charles Peirce before James,
> represented a
> > leap in the development of psychology and philosophy on this side of the
> > waters. I understand that European traditions in philosophy and
> psychology,
> > more influenced by Marxist thinking, are markedly different from those in
> > the U.S., and that may have something to do with your analysis. However,
> I
> > think Langacker has much to offer to the XMCA dialog. I am thinking that
> > Langacker is a complement to Halliday, not an adversary.
> >
> > Langacker and Halliday are semioticians, as was Vygotsky. Chomsky, who
> has
> > made his reputation by attacking structural linguistics and
> behavioralism,
> > sees language as an autonomous cognitive module and grammar as autonomous
> > from meaning; with Fodor he sees syntax and meaning as "blind" to one
> > another. Langacker sees externally realized language form as a subset of
> > meaning and language as rooted in all cognitive functioning; in other
> > words, he sees (language-based) semantic space as a subset of symbolic
> > space. Though Langacker doesn't focus on language development, what
> little
> > he says makes it clearly the result of a dynamic interplay between real
> > language use in context and the developing grammar of the child. Grammar
> as
> > structure is a reification of the dynamics of mental processing, just as
> > nouns are reifications of verbs. There's a simplicity in his grammatical
> > analysis that I think is of use in understanding the connection between
> > language and thinking: Words stand for things, processes and relations.
> > This is in line with what we have all learned about "parts of speech",
> but
> > Langacker, by construing parts of speech this way, makes grammatical
> > analysis meaningful/semantic, not formalistic. For Langacker, language
> and
> > meaning are both in the head of the language user and "out there" in the
> > world. I think I get why you find Langacker's comment on each of us
> > "experientially occupying the center of the universe" as Piagetian:
> > egocentric thinking. But, as per Langacker, language reveals our ability
> to
> > construe "the universe" non-egocentrically. His work in subjectification
> > and objectification is interesting on this score. You are certainly right
> > that Langacker "makes up" his examples of language, but they are good
> > examples and that's how specialists in grammar work. I agree with you
> that
> > "thick description" has got to be done to understand language, but that's
> > not an argument against introspection. His work is in Cognitive Grammar,
> > not the broader discipline of cognitive linguistics. Halliday, I believe,
> > is seen as a scholar of functional linguistics, which is very much
> > compatible with cognitive linguistics. One of the hard problems of
> > cognitive linguistics and Cognitive Grammar is to take on discourse. The
> > work of Bruner on narrative as a foundation for cultural psychology
> appears
> > to have taken hold in XMCA circles. (An excellent article by Andy Blunden
> > (2010), Narrative and Metaphors tells me so.) I was hoping that Langacker
> > might find favor there too. (Or, I should say here, since I am gratefully
> > part of the circle!)
> >
> >  I'll end by repeating my sense of inadequacy in making the case for
> > Langacker. The article by Merja and her colleagues in Helsinki is
> evidence
> > that Langacker is of use to others in the CHAT, others that are NOT
> > impostors!
> > Henry
> >
> > On Sep 1, 2014, at 1:30 AM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Martin--
> > >
> > > I think, if you've read "Learning to Mean", you've got the essentials
> > > (although there is a whole volume of Halliday's Collected Works, with
> > > a huge CD of the complete Nigel Transcripts that supports this now).
> > > And you've certainly got the esssential compability between Halliday
> > > and Vygotsky that is lacking when I read Langacker.
> > >
> > > Firstly, development. Halliday uses real data, from real people. The
> > > latest work is entirely corpus based. As you can see from Langacker's
> > > articles, he makes up his data. To me, this means he is all
> > > explanation and no description.
> > >
> > > Secondly, what develops is free choice. For Halliday, a system is
> > > essentially paradigmatic, like Vygotsky's description of thinking in
> > > Chapter Seven of Thinking and Speech. A grammatical choice like tense
> > > or polarity is in essence a crossroads; it's a place where you can
> > > turn left or right (and sometimes go straight, but for the choices to
> > > be manageable to a human mind, they need to be fairly few). Langacker
> > > doesn't see this: his way of handling complexity is not to give us
> > > systems within systems but instead to give us superhuman powers of
> > > access and activation (essentially, superhuman powers of empathy). But
> > > as Vygotsky says in HDHMF, the concept of the development of higher
> > > mental functions, the concept of cultural behavior, and the concept of
> > > the development of self control are essentially one and the same
> > > concept.
> > >
> > > Thirdly, both Halliday and Vygotsky are Marxists, and they both insist
> > > on a dialectical concept of development. I don't see this in Langacker
> > > at all--instead, I see rather Piagetian remarks, like "Experientially,
> > > each of us occupies the very centre of our universe, from which we
> > > apprehend the world around us." Halliday is always interrogating
> > > function about structure, and history about function. Langacker is
> > > mosly interrogating made up examples.
> > >
> > > I don't want to say that there are NO differences to be reconciled
> > > between Halliday and Vygotsky. The most obvious difference, though, is
> > > the least useful: Halliday talks of metafunctions that are made up of
> > > grammatical systems, while Vygotsky wants us to accept that
> > > psychological systems are made up of functions. I think this
> > > difference is actually uninteresting, because when Vygotsky uses the
> > > word "function" he's talking about choices (i.e. Halliday's systems)
> > > and when Vygotsky uses the term "system" he's talking about
> > > interfunctional relations (i.e. Halliday's metafunctions).
> > >
> > > A more substantial difference is that Halliday sees the grammatical
> > > system as being revolutionized during child development, while the
> > > semantics are basically stable. Vygotsky sees speech as
> > > revolutionizing thinking as well.
> > >
> > > Finally, I think Halliday would reject the idea that Vygotsky argues
> > > in Chapter Seven of Thinking and Speech--that thinking (that is, the
> > > ideational metafunction, the representative function of speech)
> > > happens somehow on an inner plane, which is then projected onto a
> > > plane of "inner speech (that is, Rheme and New in the textual
> > > metafunction) and then realized as "outer speech" (Halliday's
> > > interpersonal metafunction).
> > >
> > > For Hallliday, ideation, textualization, and interpersonalization
> > > exist in thinking as well as in speech and at every point along the
> > > way; they must be variously represented whenever we speak, and however
> > > we do it, and at clause level they are mapped onto each other (as
> > > transitivity, information structure, and mood). But the very fact that
> > > Halliday, unlike Langacker, separates clause structure into these
> > > three metafunctions, and that these three metafunctions (the
> > > ideational, the textual, and the interpersonal) correspond very
> > > precisely to "Thinking", "and" and "Speech" tells you quite a bit
> > > about the latent affinities between Halliday and Vygotsky, there to be
> > > brought out..
> > >
> > > In practical terms, Halliday's sociology is not just Marxist but
> > > Bernsteinian: if we really do not accept that language has a
> > > potentially liberating effect, then we have to accept that it is also
> > > has a potentially crippling effect. Interestingly, this was Stalin's
> > > position against Marr and Vygotsky: language is not part of the
> > > superstructure, it is part of the base.
> > >
> > > My own view is that both are right--language viewed from economic
> > > activity is superstructure, but language viewed from ontogenesis is
> > > base.  So if we do not accept that that parent language has an effect
> > > on a child's code and therefore on his or herl classpirations (pardon
> > > my portmanteau), then we can conclude only either a) we already live
> > > in a classless society (Leontiev), or b) language is more afterthought
> > > than aperitif (Piaget).
> > >
> > > David Kellogg
> > > Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> >
> >
>