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The role and status of imitation is very important, because, for example it
is related to notions of competence and performance (not in our paradigm
admittedly) where children's language performance is in advance of their
competence. To get back to CHAT, it may be that part of the inducting into
meaning is through imitation, and meaning gets progressively constructed
through the activity. Imitation is a route in to the creation of meaning-if
we don't have a route in, then we are stuck with the Learning Paradox.
Peter-- the Arievitch is there for the press of a button via the xmca
web page and worth reading for its relevance to many of the issues we
have been discussing.
Your point about imitation is important. I do not think in this case we have
a translation at the level of ego versus subject that Igor refers to in his
note. Rather, the concept of imitation is polysemic and used in differnt
meantings by different people. Seth Chaiklin raises this issue vis a vis
Vygotsky and I am encountering it in the current literature on infant/
child development as well as controversies arising from competing theories
of hominization and bonobo/chimp--human differences. A discussion of the
meanings of imitation in the literature and their implications for chat
would be well worthwhile.