Re: RES: Generalizing in Interaction - epilinguistic activities

From: Ana Marjanovic-Shane (
Date: Wed Jun 01 2005 - 15:35:50 PDT

this is also very helpful. It seems to me important to clarify these
various acts with language and about language. However I am unsure about
the difference between meta-linguistic and epi-linguistic. If we define
epi-linguistic as: "actions taken in interactional processes that result
from a reflection that takes the very expressive resources as their
object" -- then what is "meta-linguistic"? - I thought that this would
be a good definition of meta-linguistic. And also, some of the examples
from the paragraph below look like something that could be called also
The reason I am interested in clarifying all of these is not trivial: it
will help us see one one had different aspects of language/speech and on
the other, different aspects of the analysis of language and different
conceptual systems (paradigms) are used. Sometimes they are not
compatible, and sometimes they describe maybe the same phenomenon but
use different terminology and place them in slightly different connections.
What I am interested in is developing a CHAT theory of language -- so
all these different ways to look at it as an activity are very helpful.

mktostes wrote:

> 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 else.
> 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
> *Para:*
> *Assunto:* Re: Generalizing in Interaction
> Fascinating.
> 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?
> Ana

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