Re: [xmca] sense and meaning

From: Peter Smagorinsky (
Date: Mon Jul 11 2005 - 08:36:49 PDT

I tried to work out the sense/meaning tangle a few years ago
in a paper published in the AERA journal Review of
Educational Research. I think it was 2001, the title "If
meaning is constructed, what is it made from?: Toward a
cultural theory of reading." I'm traveling now so don't have
the ms. handy, but I can send it when I return home if I
remember. Peter

---- Original message ----
>Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2005 21:59:12 +0700
>From: Phil Chappell <>
>Subject: Re: [xmca] sense and meaning
>To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
<>, Mike Cole <>
>I'm not sure I can offer much here, Mike, but in the vortex
of voices,
>I'd like to add what I understand. Whenever I am confronted
with the
>concepts "sense" and "meaning" I immediately attend to the
notion of
>thought and context. Being an English speaker and therefore
only having
>an approximation of the semantic differences between sense
and meaning
>in Vygotsky's writings (meaning (znachenie) and sense
(smysl)), I ask
>is "sense" the socio-personal history of the communicative
use of a
>lexical item applied to the immediate spheres of human
activity; and is
>meaning the most predictable use of the word across social
>SFL uses a theory of congruency that has come under
criticism for being
>deterministic, however if understood within the the genetic
>used not only by Vygotsky, but also by SFL'ers (for example
>Martin), it is seen as an informed approach to social
semiotics - it
>looks at actual uses of language to make judgements about
language use
>in human activity. Sense and meaning can take on much more
>applications; for example "sense" - for LSV word meaning in
the context
>of speech - can be thought of dynamically in the context of
ways that
>people engage with texts and the ways that these
>activities influence the social positions of the
interactants. Meaning
>can be thought of as "most expected meanings" in terms of
those taking
>a more synoptic view.
>Rough thoughts.
>On 09/07/2005, at 9:56 PM, Mike Cole wrote:
>> In reading the work of Halliday, Hasan, and Bernstein, I
am unclear
>> about whether their
>> notions of meaning do or do not coincide with Vygotsky's.
One form of
>> this uncertainty is
>> whether and how a distinction between sense and meaning,
which is
>> central to LSV's
>> ideas about language and thought, are viewed from an SFL
>> Perhaps its there
>> and I am blinded by my own past history?
>> mike_______________________________________________
>> xmca mailing list
>xmca mailing list

xmca mailing list

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Aug 01 2005 - 01:01:03 PDT