Re: Generalizing in Interaction

From: Peg Griffin (
Date: Tue May 31 2005 - 16:20:50 PDT

Sorry. I didn't mean an analogy. I just meant the prefix was the same for all three words.
The patterns are epilinguistic -- "upon" the language system as cultural object and "upon" the social interactions constituting and being constituted by the language. Epilinguistic is not cognitive.
Being aware of patterns and exploiting them as patterns rather than as the language tool -- that would be the meta bit. (That's pretty much straight from Luria's understanding of metalinguistics for which he used the famous window metaphor.)
The same kids who participate in the example I gave of the blue-glue-goo chain may be unable to do the very same rhyme "on purpose" out of that sort of social flow. In that case, I guess we could say it is as if they are infected by pattern in this sort of social scene and immune to it in others!
The teacher is another story -- I think it is metalinguistic virtuosity -- exploiting both the phonological and the semantic patterns for rhetorical pragmatics. Talk about recontextualizing! (And I do me re- not de-)

Just speaking a language wouldn't be either meta or epi in anyone's book I think; it's just plain linguistic. Speaker-hearers don't need to do the genetic or logical analyses that linguists do (so not meta). And the patterns aren't "upon" them (so not epi).
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Ana Marjanovic-Shane
  Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 3:17 PM
  Subject: Re: Generalizing in Interaction


  I need more clarification on epilinguistic and its analogy with "epidemic". While I understand, or I think I understand what is "epidemic" (when people become progressively infected by the same disease ?, when something spreads across many people so that they all "suffer" from the same condition?) I fail to understand the "epilinguistic" unless just knowing how to speak one language is some kind of an epidemic by that language. :-) (I do sometimes feel infected by a language).

  How does world play and finding phonological patterns compare to an epidemic? Finding some linguistic patterns may be a meta linguistic activity, but why would it be an epi-linguistic phenomenon?


  -----Original Message-----
  From: Peg Griffin []
  Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 07:53 PM
  Subject: Fw: Generalizing in Interaction

  oops. I hit the wrong reply button for the enclosed.
  and just one addition to it:Besides epidemic, epiphenomena might help, too.
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Peg Griffin
  Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 1:02 PM
  Subject: Re: Generalizing in Interaction

  For epilinguistic, think about epidemic.
  A language as a socio-cultural entity holds epilinguistic patterning. It doesn't have to do with an individual's mind or language facility.

  Kids act "within" the epilinguistic in play, in social negotiations...
  C1: I want a blue one.
  C2: I want a glue one.
  C3: I want a goo one.
  C1: I want a poo one.
  T: I want a new one.
  Everyone: relieved laughs
  Sometimes these acts are taken as displays of the metalinguistic but maybe they shouldn't be but then again, says Gombert, think of epilinguistic as a part of the route to the metalinguistic.

  Now for linguists, yes, there are logical and genetic analyses of the domain such that the epilinguistic becomes metalinguistic and that is their professional activity.

  Bits and pieces of the epilinguistic patterning may get/have to get meta'd up as real people (as opposed to unreal linguists) gain expertise for some kinds of acts -- like jokes, pretend play, clarification, reading, writing, editing, individual or group voicing... But probably there's a small window of time for metalinguistics and we get that U shaped pattern (homotypic discontinuity?) -- for instance, adults (and first graders at the end of the school year) who spell well in a written script like English make a mess of some PA (phonological awareness) tasks even though they had once upon a time gotten to be good at them.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Mike Cole
  Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 12:14 PM
  Subject: Re: Generalizing in Interaction

  Might you say more? That is too condensed for me, Peg. I sort of know what metalinguistic is, but not
  epilinguistic. And am unsure how either speaks to rising to the concrete idea that requires logical analysis
  of the domain as a starting point.

  On 5/31/05, Peg Griffin <> wrote:
  I wonder if the distinction/relation between epilinguistic and metalinguistic is relevant. Gombert's 1992 Metalinguistic Development (London: Harvester Wheatsheaf) is a source about epilinguistic; I chased it down because of Goswami's use of it.
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Mike Cole
  To: Xmca
  Sent: Monday, May 30, 2005 11:00 AM
  Subject: Generalizing in Interaction

  In reflecting on the earlier discussion of Jurow's article on generalizing in interaction I come
  away with a feeling of incompleteness. Maybe its ingendered by the fact that some people
  appreciated the careful description of classroom practices and Jurow's approach to understanding
  generalizing as a consequence of changes of modes of participation and communication, in particular
  the patterns labelled "linking" and "conjecturing." Others seemed to be looking for an analysis of generalization
  as "rising to the concrete" a la Davydov and apparently did not take much away from the Jurow approach.

  Looking back at the article, the critical disjuncture (if I am correct) is signaled on p. 281 where Jurow contrasts
  her approach to development as formation of "decontextualized knowledge" (her quotation marks) and generalization
  as "the product of accurated mental representations.... and "an individual cognitive activity performed to recognize
  and acquire objective categories." (My quotes)

  She substitutes instead a "situated or practice perspective, (from which) abstracting is conceptualized not as "moving
  away from" situations, but as a product of local practices." (her quotes and mine)

  I gather that Michael Roth and others which to substitute "rising to the concrete" for "product of local practices."

  I wonder if his is equivalent to a shift from the use of Vygotsky to Davyodov. For example, Vygotsky (Collected works,

  Vol 3, p. 138) writes

  The law: the form of generalization corresponds to the form of communication. "Communication and genralization
  are internally connected. ....

  Generalization. What is generalization? Generalization is the exclusion from visual structures and the incusion in thought structures,
  semantic structures. ....

  Now if there were someone on XMCA interested in discourse theories of mathematical thinking, who knows, we might get some
  help with disentangling these issues. Are the approaches contradictory? Complentary? Incoherent? Out of date? On the cusp
  of the future?

  I am unsure. By convention, I believe we are on the cusp of summer where I live. I am going for a walk, summer style, to prepare
  for those examinations and grant deadlines!

  Unless there is more to be written, lets examine language and activity.

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