RES: Generalizing in Interaction - epilinguistic activities

From: mktostes (
Date: Wed Jun 01 2005 - 04:33:25 PDT

Epilinguistic activities are actions taken in interactional processes that
result from a reflection that takes the very expressive resources as their
object. According to Geraldi, who doesn’t agree with A. Culioli that
epilinguistic activities are unconscious (and I’m going to try a rough
translation to English now):


“We could characterize the epilinguistic activities as activities that,
being conscious or not, taking the expressions used as objects, suspend the
treatment of the theme being developed by the interlocutors to reflect about
the very expressive resources they are using. Those would be operations that
would be manifested in negotiation of meaning, hesitations,
self-corrections, reelaboration, long pauses, repetitions, anticipations,
lapses, etc. and that are always present in verbal activities, and that have
been studied in language acquisition processes as well as in the processes
of language reconstruction by aphasic subjects (cf. De Lemos, 1982; Coudry,
1988; Coudry & Morato, 1988) ”


And I add that those can also be used by researches investigating second
language acquisition.


Epilinguistic activities can be related to structural aspects of the
language or more discursive aspects such as inquiring why the person doesn’t
want to participate in the conversation; when you demand someone to answer a
question or when you suspend the treatment of one topic to say something


Geraldi states that in every linguistic action there are actions of
reflection on language; it is constant in interactive processes. Therefore,
there are actions that we make with the language, actions made over the
language and language actions. That’s the distinction among linguistic,
epilinguistic and metalinguistic activities.


I hope it helps. And then, again, I guess that once we start learning/using
language, we get contaminated and suffer from the condition of reflecting
over language itself, even when we do not realize we are doing it, such as
children playing with sounds. Epi comes from Greek and means ‘on’, ‘upon’
(amongst other meanings).


Karin Quast


GERALDI, J. W. Portos de Passagem. SP: Martins Fontes, 1991. (Brazil)


De: Ana Marjanovic-Shane []
Enviada em: terça-feira, 31 de maio de 2005 17:18
Assunto: Re: Generalizing in Interaction



I need more clarification on epilinguistic and its analogy with "epidemic".
While I understand, or I think I understand what is "epidemic" (when people
become progressively infected by the same disease ?, when something spreads
across many people so that they all "suffer" from the same condition?) I
fail to understand the "epilinguistic" unless just knowing how to speak one
language is some kind of an epidemic by that language. :-) (I do sometimes
feel infected by a language).

How does world play and finding phonological patterns compare to an
epidemic? Finding some linguistic patterns may be a meta linguistic
activity, but why would it be an epi-linguistic phenomenon?


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