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[Xmca-l] Re: Ruqaiya Hasan

Would you care to expand (or should I say "elaborate") on your post which seemed rather "restricted" in scope?

But seriously, could you say more about universal semantic categories and what those might be?

And with regard to ruquia, could you elaborate on how she would respond to the classic critique of Bernstein that he seems to be saying that people of some classes just aren't as smart as people of other classes?

Thinking like a child here,


Sent from my iPhone

> On Jun 29, 2015, at 2:41 AM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
> Ruqaiya also had an important contribution to make concerning another
> problem that has surfaced on this list many times, a problem which is ever
> present in the work of Cole and Scribner, and also in Paula Towsey's and
> Mike Cole's contributions to the Symposium on Vygotsky's Concepts:
> https://vimeo.com/13550409
> Mike's contribution is entitled "Do College Professors Think Like Children,
> Primitives, or Adolescents?" and it's essentially concerned with what
> Ruqaiya called "semantic variation" in general and "code orientation" in
> particular. Ruqaiya, as will be evident to anyone who reads her "exotropic
> theories"paper, was an ardent champion of Bernstein's work (in which she
> played a considerable role). This brought her into conflict with Labov, who
> was the major American socioliinguist of the time. For Labov, there was
> simply no such thing as semantic variation: the semantic categories were
> more or less universal, and if you believed that they were somehow shaped
> by code orientation, as Bernstein did, then you were saying that some
> people were somehow less intelligent than others.
> Mike's version of Labov's position is not that semantic categories are
> universal, but rather that the acquisition of "true concepts" cannot be
> dependent on formal schooling. Of course, on one level, that has to be
> true, since true concepts are initially developed in laboratories and
> libraries rather than schools. But for Ruqaiya, class societies produce
> class dialects, and class dialects vary not only according to their
> functional registers but also according to their "code orientations". Some
> of these code orientations are towards concepts, and some are not.
> David Kellogg
>> On Sat, Jun 27, 2015 at 2:39 PM, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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.
>> Henry
>>> 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