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[Xmca-l] Re: Taxis and Embedding in Conversation

Hello Alfredo, I came across the term "semiogenesis" in the past but can't
remember who coined it.

To me, the four domains of human development I mentioned earlier are
invariably imbued with signs and symbols. If I were to suggest more
appropriate terms for describing the semiotic aura in these domains, they
would probably be phylosemiosis, ontosemiosis, sociosemiosis and


On 4 July 2017 at 01:13, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no> wrote:

> Pegg, thanks for making sure justice is made in the treatment of another
> scholar; I am sure many in the list appreciate it.
> David, James, you both have used the term 'semiogenesis,' which seems to
> have gone unremarked but it certainly called my attention. I made a search
> on the xmca archive and the term 'semiogenesis' had appeared only a couple
> of times before. And, unless the term is just a synonymous with such
> expressions as 'genesis of symbolic activity', 'semiogenesis' does not
> appear in the English versions of Vygotsky's collected works. Sociogenesis,
> by contrast, appears often and is elaborated in several places, as do
> ontogenesis and phylogenesis. What is the history of the term
> 'semiogenesis' in CHAT? Why did not Vygotsky and others use it?
> Reading about the contrast between ants and whales that was mentioned in a
> previous post, I also wondered what a distinction between the social and
> the semiotic would be for researchers in the field of biosemiotics, who are
> concerned with the production of signs all across the biological spectrum.
> Alfredo.
> ________________________________________
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> on behalf of Peg Griffin <Peg.Griffin@att.net>
> Sent: 03 July 2017 06:30
> To: 'eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity'
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Taxis and Embedding in Conversation
> For anyone who is interested, this is about the characterization of Jim
> McCawley in the message this replies to.
> I found it inappropriate, unacceptable, not true and not needed to make
> any point in the message.  Perhaps the writer is unaware of the impression
> given by the characterization provided.
> As repair, I will point out that many admired Jim as a kind and open man,
> an activist for causes seen in the US as leftist, a deeply thoughtful
> linguist who data grubbed (he said "data fetishist") as a student of many
> languages and colleague of many linguists, a fine cook and musician.  He
> died in 1999.  You can find obituaries in the Chicago Tribune and the New
> York Times, and in the Linguistic Society of America's journal, there is a
> memorial:
> Lawler, John (2003). James D. McCawley. Language. 79:614–625.
> doi:10.1353/lan.2003.0173
> (His candidacy on the Libertarian ticket, by the way, was not for
> Governor, but for a seat on the University of Illinois Board of trustees --
> 3 times in the 70's in the complex politics of Chicago and Illinois as part
> of intentional moves concerning power, corruption, and the relation between
> universities and politics in the US in general.)
> PG
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@
> mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of David Kellogg
> Sent: Sunday, July 02, 2017 5:37 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Taxis and Embedding in Conversation
> Greg:
> Bear with me for a linguistic excursus. It will involve taking the scenic
> route. But after all, that's what whales do.
> So one of the first linguistics professors I ever had at the University of
> Chicago was James McCawley. He was a right wing nut job: when he wasn't
> professsoring, he was running for governor of Illinois on the LIbertarian
> ticket. Because he was a libertarian, and because he was a bit of a nut, he
> would lecture on why we freshmen like to say "Fan-fucking-tastic!" instead
> of, say, "Fantas-fucking-tic!" In "My Fair Lady", Audrey Hepburn sings:
> Oh, so lover-ly singing abso-blooming-lutely still Ah would never budge
> till spring crept over me window sill!"
> Why not "ab-blooming-solutely" (which has the advantage of alliteration)
> or "absolute-bloomingly" (which would make more morphological sense)? or "
> The answer has to do with embedding, which is a phenomenon that occurs on
> virtually every level of language: sounding, wording, and of course
> meaning. So for example, at the level of wording, imagine that I receive a
> letter from a elementary school crush, and it is discovered by my wife.
> a) She tore up the letter, which upset me.
> Now imagine that this long-lost elementary school crush turns out to be a
> loathsome right winger soliciting funds for "Blue Lives Matter":
> b) She tore up the letter which upset me.
> Oh, what a difference a little comma can make! In b) "which upset me" is
> embedded in the nominal group (the "noun phrase", for you Chomskyans). It
> plays no part in the structure of the clause-complex (the "sentence" for
> Chomskyans). So it has no effect on the tearing or on the "she", and it is
> confined to "the letter", just as "fucking" intensifies the SOUND STRESS on
> "TAST-ic" rather than the lexical meaning of "fantasy" or the more
> grammatical meaning of "ic", and "blooming" intensifies the prosodic
> emphasis of "LUTE-ly" rather than the lexical meaning of "absolute" or the
> grammatical meaning of  "~ly". But in a) "which upset me" is a all about
> her tearing up the letter and it impacts "she" and "tore up" and not just
> the letter: it is abso-bloomingly-lutely part of the story of the
> clause-complex as a whole.
> You can see that both McCawley's example and my own are about meaning, but
> they are about different kinds of meaning. McCawley is talking about
> prosodic meaning: the kind of meaning we get from rhymes, jingles, hip hop
> and Homeric hexameters. I am giving you an example of lexicogrammatical
> meaning, the kind of meaning we get when semantics (thinking) is realized
> as lexicogrammar (wordings, which may be in turn realized as soundings, but
> they may also be inner speech).
> But, as the poet says, if you would see the Yangzi River, you must ascend
> another storey of the Yellow Crane Tower. In the latest volume of her
> Collected Works, Ruqaiya Hasan is talking about a conversation between her
> graduate student, Carmel Cloran, and Carmel's preschool son, Stephen.
> It's the kind of rangey conversation we all have with preschoolers: she
> asks him what he wants for lunch, and he decides on peanut butter
> sandwiches and passionfruit. The passionfruit is not in the fruit bowl and
> it has to be retrieved from under the kitchen table, Stephen wants to know
> why there are no passionfruit in Sydney at this time of year (it's winter)
> and Carmel wants him to sit at his designated place at the table and not
> the place where his Grandma usually sits, Stephen wants to know why Grandma
> sits there and not elsewhere, and why he can't sit there when she's not
> around, and then as Carmel brings the sandwiches and prepared fruit to the
> table she talks about taking him shopping to Chatswood.
> One way to see this conversation is as a kind of Monty Python show--a
> sequence of texts separated by "and now for something completely
> different". This is, actually, the way they see things at the University of
> Sydney, where each "text" in the conversation is attributed to a different
> "genre" and even a different "register". In some of the texts the context
> is present, in others it is present but under the table, and in others it
> is in distant Chatswood and far in the future.
> But another way is to see some of the texts as embedded in others: looking
> for the passionfruit is a kind of qualifier of Stephen's request for
> passionfruit, and the explanation of seating has the function of a
> "because..." or "since..." hypotactic. clause attached to Stephen's sitting
> in the wrong place at the kitchen table.
> The trip to Chatswood? On the face of it, this is really "and now for
> something completely different". And yet, from the Macquarie point of view,
> it too is linked, but "paratactically". What is being kept up is the
> interpersonal flow of meaning--the intimate, loving, but asymmetrical
> relationship between care-giver and cared-for. This is not much related to
> the social reproduction of the material conditions of life (and from
> Stephen's view not at all): if they do not go to Chatswood they will not go
> hungry tonight. But it is part of the flow of semiosis that forms the great
> ocean current that carries humans and other warm-blooded animals on their
> migrations.
> Yes, of course: semiogenesis and sociogenesis are linked, just as
> phylogenesis and sociogenesis are not simply stacked the one upon the
> other, and learning is not simply the "domestication" of development for
> purpose of  Aktualgenese or microgenesis: there is an inner link in both
> cases. But as soon as we say that the social reproduction of the material
> conditions of life and the flow of semiosis have this inner link and are
> not simply stacked like geological layers, we find ourselves admitting that
> they can also be distinct, that eddies of semiosis sometimes carry us
> backwards in sociogenesis and sometimes fling us far into our own futures.
> David Kellogg
> Macquarie University
> "The Great Globe and All Who It Inherit:
> Narrative and Dialogue in Story-telling with Vygotsky, Halliday, and
> Shakespeare"
> Free Chapters Downloadable at:
> https://www.sensepublishers.com/media/2096-the-great-
> globe-and-all-who-it-inherit.pdf
> Recent Article: Thinking of feeling: Hasan, Vygotsky, and Some Ruminations
> on the Development of Narrative in Korean Children
> Free E-print Downloadable at:
> http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/8Vaq4HpJMi55DzsAyFCf/full