Re: [xmca] J.M. Baldwin

From: steve thorne (
Date: Tue Jun 06 2006 - 13:16:38 PDT

hi Phil -- yes, i find Jim's observation to be a very good one --
that imitation involves a kind of preemptive preparation for
increased participation in activity.

like you have, we found particularly Balwin's sense of "persistent
imitation" very useful -- the kind of imitative actions that are goal
directed, intentional, and cyclically developmental as the child (or
person) modifies their performance in contrapuntal relation to the
mental image of the original model. this fits very well with the
notion of development as the resolution of contradictions, where
iterative imitation constitutes the very process of internalization

Jim and i talk about imitation and internalization in detail in a
recent book (lantolf & thorne: sociocultural theory and the genesis
of second language development, oxford, 2006), with a discussion of
supportive and quite compelling research coming out of usage-based
models of language acquisition (Tomasello) and cognitive neuroscience
(e.g., Arbib on mirror neurons; Meltzoff on neonate development and
imitation). i have PDFs of all chapters for interested parties.


>Mike, Steve T, Artin, and others interested in Baldwin's work,
>Thanks for the connections to Valsiner and van der Veer, and also
>Cahan. My initial interest is in the two types of imitation that
>Baldwin proposed - imitative suggestion and persistent imitation.
>These forms of imitation could be thought of as a form involving
>transformation and a form not (?). Steve, your colleague Jim
>Lantolf, referring to V and VdV and also Baldwin, wrote that
>"persistent imitation anticipates the future and as such involves
>"feed-forward" (instead of feedback), which enables the organism to
>preadapt to future encounters with the world". An interesting
>I'll certainly look up the book by "the V's"... thanks!
>Imitation and the zoped. Hm.
>xmca mailing list

Steven L. Thorne
Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics
Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
Associate Director, Center for Language Acquisition
Associate Director, Center for Advanced Language Proficiency 
Education and Research
The Pennsylvania State University
Interact > 814.863.7036 | | | IM: avkrook
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