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[Xmca-l] Re: how to broaden/enliven the xmca discussion



Or words, like tools, are polyfunctional, I suppose.

Though it's more the distinction between core & periphery, actual & potential, meaning and sense. that I want to suggest is parallel. For example, here is a recent study where toddlers seem to be drawing this kind of distinction: between the things one *can* do with an artifact (in this case a toy), and what *we* do with the artifact. (I'm kinda reading against the interpretation of the authors, I grant you.)

Young children use pedagogical cues as a signal that others' actions are social or cultural conventions. Here we show that children selectively transmit (enact in a new social situation) causal functions demonstrated pedagogically, even when they have learned and can produce alternative functions as well. Two-year-olds saw two novel toys, each with two functions. One experimenter demonstrated one function using pedagogical cues (eye contact and child-directed speech) and a second experimenter demonstrated the alternative function using intentional actions towards the object, but without pedagogical cues. Children imitated both functions at equal rates initially, indicating equal causal learning from both types of demonstration. However, they were significantly more likely to enact the pedagogical function for a new adult not present during the initial demonstrations. These results indicate that pedagogical cues influence children's transmission of information, perhaps playing a role in the dissemination of cultural conventions from a young age.

Pedagogical cues encourage toddlers' transmission of recently demonstrated functions to unfamiliar adults

	• Christopher Vredenburgh, 
	• Tamar Kushnir*and
	• Marianella Casasola

Martin

On Oct 9, 2014, at 11:17 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:

> Tools, like words, are polysemic, Martin, i take it.
> mike
> 
> On Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 8:02 AM, Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>
> wrote:
> 
>> David,
>> 
>> One could say, couldn't one, that a tool also has both a stable, customary
>> pole of functionality and a broader range of potential, possible uses? A
>> hammer, for example, is customarily used to drive nails, but it can
>> potentially be used in a variety of other ways that are related, one might
>> say metaphorically, to this core function.
>> 
>> Martin
>> 
>> On Oct 8, 2014, at 5:00 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>>> The idea that the latter is merely meaning potential and the former is
>>> actual, realized, materialized meaning comes straight from Halliday.
>>> But the (for me, linked) idea that the latter is the most stable pole
>>> of word value and the former the least so comes straight from
>>> Volosinov, who influenced Halliday via the Prague linguists.
>> 
>> 
>> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.