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[Xmca-l] Re: Ruqaiya Hasan

Hi David,

I'm confused; wasn't Labov's book 'Language in the Inner City: Studies in the Black English Vernacular' a study of codes, and of code-switching? And weren't his studies of what we denote with a word such as 'cup' directed against an essentialist (Aristotelian) model of semantics?

Expecting to be corrected... :)


On Jun 29, 2015, at 3:41 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