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[Xmca-l] Re: Ruqaiya Hasan

Good on Carol’s challenge and David’s response. But I would I take the term “conventional” to mean “cultural” and much preferable to “arbitrary” when describing the pairing of phonemes and morphemes. I think this is an important issue, if we are to take Port Royal Grammar and Saussure to be a useful point of departure for a theory of grammar for the CHAT. 

> On Jun 26, 2015, at 3:55 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
> Yes, the Port Royal Grammar was extremely important in a number of ways.
> Politically, it was an attempt to reestablish the rationalist,
> Protestant-leaning current of thinking about language and society that had
> been almost crushed by the Saint Bartholomew's Day massacre and was
> eventually totally crushed when Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes (I
> tried to find the site of the Port-Royal monastery a few months ago when I
> was in Paris and there isn't even rubble.) And linguistically, the
> contribution of the Port-Royal Grammarians can be seen as an extension of
> that universalist rationalist spirit:
> a) The underlying semantic distinctions of all languages (e.g. concepts,
> spatiotemporal categories) are essentially the same.
> b) The basic syntactic distinctions of all languages (e.g. nouns/verbs,
> subjects/predicates) are essentially the same.
> c) Although all of these distinctions do exist, there isn't any principled
> distinction between vocabulary and grammar, because what some languages
> express in a single word can be expressed in another language by a whole
> wording.
> Ergo: the "words 'n rules" model of language, which is the basic model we
> use in all pedagogical grammars today, has no scientific or even logical
> foundation. There is a distinction, of course, but it's much more like
> Vygotsky's distinction between learning and development. That is, words are
> learned; grammar develops.
> Halliday explains why this should be. What we call vocabulary is
> essentially a "word's eye view" of the units of the clause, relating them
> to open-class words, to local areas of meaning, and to non-proportional
> relations (that is, contextually variable "car-horns" rather than universal
> "traffic lights". That is why a word like "love" means something different
> in different lexical environments, while a morpheme like plural "s" always
> means pretty much the same thing. What we call grammar is essentially a
> "wording's eye view" of the units of the clause, relating them to
> closed-class words, to system-wide areas of meaning, and to proportional
> relations (that is, the "traffic lights" instead of the car horns).
> Now, from these three properties--open/closed class words, local/general
> meanings, and proportional/non-proportional effects--we can guess that
> vocabulary is learned incrementally and piece by piece, but grammar
> develops in a non-linear, revolutionary fashion. That is, of course,
> precisely what we see: you learn ten or fifteen words a day, but when you
> acquire that plural 's', you have led a social revolution that will
> transform every single (that is, every singular) noun that you have already
> learnt and generalize to (and generalize!) every conceivable singular noun
> you could ever learn in the future. Ditto articles, tenses, grammatical
> metaphor, etc.
> I think that's what Ruqaiya's "critique" of Vygotsky really means: it means
> that we now have an extremely important and precise means for
> distinguishing between learning in development in precisely the area which
> Vygotsky was most interested in, except that it's not the development of
> word meaning so much as the development in the meaning of wordings.
> Of course, Vygotsky did have access to grammars. He knew personally
> linguists like N.I. Marr (who took part in the seminars that he and Luria
> organized with Eisenstein). He read Volosinov. His work is full of
> references to Von Humboldt and Potebnia and even lesser known
> lexicographers like Shakhmatov and Dal. It was from these grammars that the
> Moscow linguistic circle led by Roman Jakobson took shape, and then it was
> a short step (by Jakobson) from Moscow to Prague, where the Prague
> linguistic circle laid the foundations for Halliday and Hasan.
> But when I said that Ruqaiya's eyes would smoulder, I was thinking of a
> series of discussions  we had in Guangzhou about Saussure. She was an
> ardent defender of Saussure, and I was an equally strident detractor. In
> the course of the discussions, I came to see what she was getting at:
> Saussure turned his back on history and created an almost purely structural
> view of word meanings, and that was a terrible mistake. But Saussure was
> carrying on the Port-Royal tradition of NOT erecting a rigid impermeable
> barrier between vocabulary and grammar. And as for Saussure's notion of
> "l'arbitraire", that is, the apparently random associations we find between
> phonemes and morphemes, the Saussurean idea which most exercised me at the
> time, Saussure simply meant "conventional"--that is, nothing more than the
> kinds of relative differences that the Port-Royal grammarians were able to
> describe precisely--precisely because they denied their absolute force.
> Was Vygotsky an opponent of Saussure? In some places, he explicitly
> endorses the Saussurean "phoneme" (e.g. Chapter One of Thinking and
> Speech). But in other places, it's quite clear he's really talking about
> morphemes (e.g. his discussion of Russian case endings in HDHMF). In some
> places, he has a Sapirean idea of vocabulary (once again, Chapter One of
> Thinking and Speech, although the passage on Sapir has been cut from the
> English translation). In others, he seems to have a Saussurean one (e.g.
> when he uses Piaget's test about calling a dog a "cow").
> I think that, like Ruqaiya, Vygotsky accepted Saussure's basic model of
> language, at least as a structure. What he rejected was the associative
> psychology that lay directly behind it. And like Ruqaiya, he was working to
> put something much better--much more historical, and at the same time much
> more functional and thus rationalist--in its place. Port-Royal would have
> approved.
> David Kellogg
> David Kellogg
> a)
> On Sat, Jun 27, 2015 at 4:36 AM, Carol Macdonald <carolmacdon@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Fellow XMCA-ers
>> Now, I might have missed something here in the comments over the past 24
>> hours, but there weren't very good grammars around a century ago, in fact
>> there was only the Port Royal Grammar.  I long ago forgave Vygotsky for
>> focussing on word meaning only, on these grounds. (I am a linguist, that
>> why I was judgemental to start with.) He could not have had a theory to
>> use.
>> Whether he would have developed one later we can never know - but knowing
>> the the sort of man he was, he would definitely have gotten around to it,
>> and it would have been good.
>> So, perhaps it would be a good way to honour both  Ruqaiya and LSV to
>> develop one.
>> Best
>> Carol
>> On 26 June 2015 at 20:45, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I would be in over my head with verbal art, but I am sure you are right,
>>> David, that the topic is very important to understanding Ruqaiya’s
>>> contribution to understanding Vygotsky. On the other hand, Ruqaiya seems
>> to
>>> be making the case that Vygotsky lacks something very important: a theory
>>> of grammar. That is where her passion and brilliance especially seems to
>>> come out. And I agree with her about the need! So maybe it’s not just
>>> something you and I take a great interest in, but apparently a gap that
>>> needs addressing. It wouldn’t be too far off the mark that this very gap
>> is
>>> why I got into the CHAT. I have been interested in this since Vera
>>> John-Steiner, another passionate and brilliant Vygotskian, took me under
>>> her ample wings 30 years ago. At that time, I wondered if cognitive
>> grammar
>>> and Vygotsky were commensurable. Forgive my broken record on this, but I
>>> think the potential is still there. I gather from what you have said
>> about
>>> Halliday that, from a Vygotskian perspective, there are problems with
>>> cognitive grammar (e.g. Langacker). Andy (2011) has written about the
>> lack
>>> of a convincing notion of concept coming from cogntive psychology (e.g.
>>> Rosch).
>>> If I am wrong about cognitive grammar, a festschrift for Ruqaiya that
>>> includes the “correction” of Vygotsky will help convince me. I don’t mean
>>> that such a festschrift would include mention of cognitive grammar and
>>> cognitive psychology. Just saying.
>>> Henry
>>> P.S. I love David’s description of Ruqaiya’s discourse “style”. It brings
>>> her alive. Such descriptions will certainly be part of the festschrift,
>>> whoever contributes.
>>>> On Jun 26, 2015, at 1:08 AM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>>> I don't think I'm qualified to edit a special issue for Ruqaiya, Henry.
>>> I'm
>>>> not sure who is qualified, but I think it should be somebody whose main
>>>> relationship to the reviewers is not a collection of more than ten
>>>> rejections going back over a decade, varying from the patronizing to
>> the
>>>> extremely vehement (in one case, my work was actually made the stuff
>> of a
>>>> graduate seminar by the reviewer, and dutifully reviled by all the
>>>> participants!). I am sure there will be a Festschrift--but it will be
>>>> probably be organized by her students and colleagues at Macquarie (e.g.
>>>> Annabelle Lukin, who is in the lecture).
>>>> Actually, I no longer have an academic position of any kind. So I think
>>> the
>>>> only thing I can usefully do at this point is what I always do--just
>>> start
>>>> some kind of discussion and hope that somebody else who can command the
>>>> respect of reviewers and/or publishers will do something with it.  You
>>> did
>>>> ask about Ruqaiya's critique of Vygotsky and that was why I posted the
>>> link
>>>> to her exotropic theories article; that is the obvious entry point for
>>> most
>>>> people interested in Ruqaiya's relationship to Vygotsky.
>>>> But I think a good discussion, and also a good Festscrhift, should be
>>>> inclusive. Many people on the list find grammar less interesting than
>> you
>>>> and I do. That's why I suggested her work on fairy tales. The work on
>>> fairy
>>>> tales, though, is not easy to understand; it's really just an instance
>>> of a
>>>> much wider theory of Generalized Text Structure that Ruqaiyah was
>> working
>>>> out in opposition to the Labov and Waletzky model of "OCER"
>> (orientation,
>>>> complication, evaluation, and resolution) which essentially reduces all
>>>> narratives to four panel cartoons. That was why I suggested Dr. Lukin's
>>>> lecture, which really does tell you something about how to read
>> Ruqaiyah.
>>>> Ruqaiyah was a wonderful, combative, and at the same time very charming
>>>> interlocutor; her eyes would light up like twin bonfires while you were
>>>> speaking, and you knew that as soon as you paused for breath you were
>>> going
>>>> to get a blast that was going to open your eyes but maybe singe your
>>>> eyebrows a little too. But Ruqaiyah was a somewhat awkward public
>>> speaker:
>>>> she interrupted herself a lot and like many people who do SFL she was
>>>> always unsure where to start, where to stop, and how much of the whole
>>> was
>>>> necessary before the various parts she wanted to talk about would make
>>>> sense. Dr. Lukin doesn't have that problem: she takes one of Ruqaiyah's
>>>> best articles, starts at the start, goes on until she comes to the end,
>>> and
>>>> then...
>>>> Well, that was the other thing about Ruqaiyah. She never really
>> stopped;
>>> I
>>>> think she just didn't know how, or maybe just didn't bother to
>> practice.
>>>> David Kellogg
>>>> On Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 1:59 PM, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>>> David,
>>>>> I want to make sure I understand. The first link is for an article
>>>>> connecting Vygotsky, Halliday and Bernstein  that goes straight to
>>>>> Ruqaiya’s “correction” of Vygotsky, right? The second link seems to be
>>> an
>>>>> abstract for the text of the third link article, right? I don’t see
>> yet
>>> the
>>>>> connection between the article and the lecture, so I’m not sure I can
>>> help
>>>>> there. Let’s just say I tackle the article. Can you tell me how my
>>> response
>>>>> might help you and Phil get started on the commemorative festschrift?
>>>>> Henry
>>>>>> On Jun 25, 2015, at 4:54 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>>>> This is just to say that I am happy to participate in a commemorative
>>>>>> Festschrift for Ruqaiya--or maybe a commemorative special issue,
>> along
>>>>> the
>>>>>> lines of what was done for Leigh Star--in any way I can.
>>>>>> One way to start would be for Henry and for the list to read and
>>>>>> discuss--and respond to--THIS:
>>>>>> http://lchc.ucsd.edu/mca/Paper/JuneJuly05/HasanVygHallBernst.pdf
>>>>>> Something else to think about: Ruqaiya came to Vygotsky more or less
>>> the
>>>>>> same way Vygotsky did, through the medium of verbal art. So another
>>> thing
>>>>>> to consider is Ruqaiya's work on the structure of fairy tales; by far
>>> the
>>>>>> best thing done thereupon since Vygotsky's work on fables.
>> http://www.equinoxpub.com/journals/index.php/books/article/viewArticle/BOOK-29-752-1
>>>>>> If you can't afford or have trouble reading the original, there's a
>>> good
>>>>>> lecture by Annabelle Lukin on Ruqaiya's theory of generalized text
>>>>>> structure:
>>>>>> https://vimeo.com/76491567
>>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>>> On Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 1:54 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>>>>>>> Hi Henry
>>>>>>> The issue is -- who wishes to take responsibility for such a
>>> production.
>>>>>>> Phil and David have spoken up. Hard to say.
>>>>>>> The thing about self organizing systems is that the self is not
>>> located
>>>>> in
>>>>>>> one particular part
>>>>>>> of them. THEY have to self organize.
>>>>>>> You know the old saying, where there is a will there is a way. Very
>>>>>>> optimistic in my view, but better than the total absence of will as
>> a
>>>>>>> starting point.
>>>>>>> Time will tell.
>>>>>>> betcha
>>>>>>> mike
>>>>>>> On Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 8:55 AM, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>> I am saddened not only by Ruqaiya’s passing by also by how little I
>>>>> knew
>>>>>>>> about Ruqaiya’s work. I hope to correct that now by reading more.
>> Not
>>>>>>> least
>>>>>>>> because of what David points out that she adds to Vygotsky:
>> Grammar!
>>>>>>> There
>>>>>>>> may be a thousand things that Ruqaiya has contributed to systemic
>>>>>>>> functional linguistics, but connecting it so explicitly to
>> Vygotsky,
>>>>>>> THAT I
>>>>>>>> would like to read more and hear more about. If there is, as Mike
>>>>>>> suggests,
>>>>>>>> an MCA honoring of her work, I would very much like to see that
>>>>>>> connection
>>>>>>>> “foregrounded” (a term straight out of the Wikipedia article on
>>>>> Ruqaiya).
>>>>>>>> Henry
>>>>>>>> On Jun 25, 2015, at 4:29 AM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>> I think that Ruqaiya was the only person I ever met who set out to
>>>>>>>>> "correct" Vygotsky and actually succeeded: her insight was that
>>>>>>>> Vygotsky's
>>>>>>>>> theory, without a theory of grammar, was inevitably going to focus
>>> too
>>>>>>>>> narrowly on lexical meanings and their historical derivations. As
>>>>>>>> Vygotsky
>>>>>>>>> himself pointed out, it's very hard to tell when children's word
>>>>>>> meanings
>>>>>>>>> develop. But Ruqaiya pointed out that it's very easy to tell when
>>>>> their
>>>>>>>>> wordings do.
>>>>>>>>> I was hoping to see her at the next ISFC in Germany next
>> month--I'll
>>>>>>> miss
>>>>>>>>> her.
>>>>>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>>>>>> On Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 4:56 PM, Phil Chappell <
>>> philchappell@mac.com>
>>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> Many on this list will know of Ruqaiya Hasan's work and may even
>>> have
>>>>>>>>>> joined in an XMCA seminar we had back in the mid noughties. She
>>> was a
>>>>>>>> great
>>>>>>>>>> advocate of intersections between Vygotsky, Halliday, Bernstein
>> and
>>>>>>>> Marx.
>>>>>>>>>> I'm sad to pass this message on.
>>>>>>>>>> Phil Chappell
>>>>>>>>>> Dear SFL Friends
>>>>>>>>>> With great sadness I have to tell you that Ruqaiya passed away
>>>>>>> suddenly
>>>>>>>>>> yesterday afternoon.  She suffered heart failure, brought on by
>> the
>>>>>>>> stress
>>>>>>>>>> of the cancer and the infection, which had so weakened her body.
>>>>>>>>>> Fortunately Michael was with her at that moment, and for some
>> time
>>>>>>>>>> beforehand.
>>>>>>>>>> I have just spoken with Michael, and want to reassure you that he
>>> is
>>>>>>>> doing
>>>>>>>>>> well in these circumstances - as courageous and determined as you
>>>>> know
>>>>>>>> he
>>>>>>>>>> would be.
>>>>>>>>>> There will be a small funeral service in Sydney next week.  The
>>> time
>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>>>>> date are still being arranged, and details will be posted when
>> they
>>>>>>> are
>>>>>>>>>> available.  There will also be a much larger scholarly event to
>>>>>>>> celebrate
>>>>>>>>>> Ruqaiya's life and work, and to keep it moving forward, later in
>>> the
>>>>>>>> year
>>>>>>>>>> at Macquarie University.
>>>>>>>>>> A wonderful life, an immense scholarly contribution, an
>>> extraordinary
>>>>>>>>>> friend to so many people around the world.
>>>>>>>>>> Best regards,
>>>>>>>>>> Geoff Williams
>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>> All there is to thinking is seeing something noticeable which makes
>>>>>>> you see something you weren't noticing which makes you see something
>>>>>>> that isn't even visible. N. McLean, *A River Runs Through it*
>> --
>> Carol A  Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
>> Developmental psycholinguist
>> Academic, Researcher,  and Editor
>> Honorary Research Fellow: Department of Linguistics, Unisa