[xmca] Re: LCA: A novice takes a first shoot: spreading the symbol, not the meaning.

From: ERIC.RAMBERG@spps.org
Date: Tue Jun 28 2005 - 08:48:32 PDT

Gordon, Lars,

I certainly would agree that people use different methods of communicating
depending upon the context they intend to communicate within. Part of the
difficulty communicating within the XMCA circle is that there are so many
different disciplines being represented; as well as languages, as well as
different subsets within each language. So, with so many variables needed
to be considered how is it possible to represent language with one specific
single unit of measure? Impossible? No, but a very difficult proposition.

For example, everyone has shared in the experience of learning a new job.
The uncertainty as well as the self-awareness that other employees will be
watching present anxiety that can result in a silly grin, akward speech or
jsut plain clumsiness. This I would posit would be universal to all
cultures. Maybe then, instead of looking merely at language to represent a
single unit of measure for sociocultural theory we look to behavior sets
that fall within specific contexts.

what do you think?

                      Gordon Wells
                      <gwells@ucsc.edu To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> cc:
                                               Subject: Re: LCA: A novice takes a first shoot: spreading the symbol, not
                      06/27/2005 11:15 the meaning.
                      Please respond
                      to xmca


Thanks for your very interesting post. What you have observed is not
altogether new, though.

Halliday (1988 On the language of physical science. In M. Ghadessy
(Ed,) Registers of written English: Situational factors and
linguistic features. London Frances Pinter.) describes how scientists
such as Newton developed a new genre in order to communicate
effectively to other scientists. And think about the change in genres
that accompanied the invention of the telegram. It seems to me that
the girl you quote is doing something rather similar: transforming
the genre in the light of the available technology to achieve her own
and her peers' communicative purposes. What do you think?


Gordon Wells
Dept of Education,
UC Santa Cruz.

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