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[Xmca-l] Re: the genetic roots of thought and speech
- To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: the genetic roots of thought and speech
- From: larry smolucha <email@example.com>
- Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:25:47 -0600
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Message from Francine:
Keeping in mind that deafness alone does not mean one is mute.
I have met many deaf people who speak, and also use sign language.
But in Vygotsky's era, techniques for teaching the deaf how to speak were
just being developed.
There might be something in the Volume from the Collected Works on
Defectology that would clarify Vygotsky's position on sign language as
a non-vocalized form of speech, and whether Vygotsky thought it could be
internalized and used to consciously direct one's thought processes.
Afterall, didn't Vygotsky spend seven years (1917-1924) teaching how
to teach the deaf (at a teacher's college in Gomel)?
I recall a passage in Vygotsky's writings where he says that the problem with
deaf education (in his time) was that sign language was only taught for the
purpose of communicating with others (and not for self-regulation).
Perhaps, his daughter Gita's work in deaf education developed ways to teach
the use of sign language for self-regulation of thought processes.
Please note: that defectology and deaf education are the terms that were used in
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> To: email@example.com
> Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2014 01:13:07 +0000
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: the genetic roots of thought and speech
> Don't agree with this at all... Sign language is surely mediated by gestures rather than vibrations of vocal chords, but still has all the hallmarks of semiotic mediation Vygotsky elaborated, including inner speech and higher cognitive functions (potentially).
> On 24 Dec 2014, at 01:00, "larry smolucha" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > Message from Francine:
> > This reminds me of a debate that I had with Greg Thompson over a year ago
> > about hearing impaired people who do not have speech
> > but use hand sign language. Hand sign language is a sensori-motor semiotic
> > systems that communicates thoughts to others. This is a semiotic fusion that
> > does not involve speech. Dance is another sensori-motor fusion with thought
> > (which is itself based on sensori-motor experience). Visual symbols systems
> > are another.
> > My reading of Vygotsky is that only speech vocalizations that fuse with thought
> > (based on sensori-motor experience) can produce 'word' meanings that are internalized
> > as the inner speech that creates higher mental functions (consciously regulated
> > thought processes).
> >> Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2014 09:54:14 -0800
> >> From: email@example.com
> >> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> >> Subject: [Xmca-l] the genetic roots of thought and speech
> >> Francine asked us to re-read Chapter 4 "the Genetic Roots' of Thought and
> >> Speech.
> >> This paragraph was critical
> >> "we are forced to conclude that FUSION of thought and speech, in adults as
> >> well as in children, is a phenomenon limited to a CIRCUMSCRIBED area.
> >> Nonverbal thought and nonintellectual speech do NOT participate in THIS
> >> FUSION and are affected indirectly by the processes of verbal thought"
> >> [Vygotsky, page 48]
> >> Reading this opens for me the question of all the other functions of speech
> >> in the adult that are not directly influenced by thought and all the
> >> functions of thought that are not affected by speech.
> >> In particular are there forms of *imaging* that are thoughts but not
> >> functioning in speech. Do these paths of image and thought also develop and
> >> fuse?
> >> All the functions that Vygotsky explores in the primates and in children
> >> PRIOR to the reciprocal interweaving of thought and language continue to
> >> function in adults. For example the sounds of speech as offering "release
> >> from tension or anxiety" or the sounds as ways of *connecting* and
> >> *bonding*.
> >> It seems that to privilege the fusion of thought and language as dominant
> >> modes of designing places/spaces [such as the third space] makes the other
> >> functions [speech alone] [thought alone] nondominant modes when the
> >> necessity for connection may be prior to and dominant when reflecting on
> >> the fused mode of thought and language as a partial unity.
> >> In other words, the unit of analysis is the relation of thought alone AND
> >> speech alone AND image alone AND all their actual fusions as other partial
> >> modes.
> >> This as a multi-modal understanding.
> >> I hope this is the right length
> >> Larry