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

Date: Wed Jun 29 2005 - 08:09:02 PDT


Pronounced "Ru-ky-a"? THank you for the response. I did pose the question
because the issue of communcation is so tangled. It is not only the
presupposed coded language present in each and every situation but it is
also the theorised and scientific coded descriptions as well as the
non-explicit day to day knowledge (Sylvia Scribner's work for example) that
social scientists are interested in studying. The new worker example would
present an example of a person who is engaged in conceptual thinking
because the concrete-operational aspect of his new job has not revealed
itself yet. The following quote is from Mike Cole's article "Cognitive
development and formal schooling" found in Moll's Vygotsky and Education
(1990): "Although there is room for disagreement, I believe that it is
sensilble to conclude that concrete operational thinking is not influenced
by schooling; what is influenced is subjects' ability to understand the
language of testing and presuppositions of the testing situation itself. "
(pg.99) To return to the new worker example they start out acting in
conceptual and idealistic domains and eventually work there way up to the
concrete, nuts and bolts activity of their job.

what do you think?

                      "ruqaiya hasan"
                      <Ruqaiya.Hasan who-is-at ling To: <>
            > cc:
                      Sent by: Subject: Re: [xmca] Re: LCA: A novice takes a first shoot: spreading the
                      xmca-bounces who-is-at weber. symbol, not the meaning.
                      06/29/2005 09:11 AM
                      Please respond to

Well it depends doesn't it on what it is one is wanting to explore. If one
is trying to look at the mediation of abstract technological concepts one
most probably will have to go to language or presuppose that the use of
language has already done some of the job (eg before going to such media as
graphics, tables figures and such like); if on the other hand one is simply
interested in nontheorised, possibly non-explicit knowledge then might look
into body language.
there is not much though that happens in the life of modern social subjects
where language is not already there in some form or shape. this doesn't
other things don't count. To my mind what it means is the more modes of
semiotic mediation we look into the better -- but before looking into
any/all, maybe it might be good to understand the nature and potential of
that modality and develop a language of description.
Incidentally you have just decribed the condition that Basil Bernstein
attempted to theorise as "segmental and horizontal knowledge structures".


----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 1:48 AM
Subject: [xmca] Re: LCA: A novice takes a first shoot: spreading the
not the meaning.

> Gordon, Lars,
> I certainly would agree that people use different methods of
> depending upon the context they intend to communicate within. Part of
> 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
> to be considered how is it possible to represent language with one
> single unit of measure? Impossible? No, but a very difficult
> 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
> watching present anxiety that can result in a silly grin, akward speech
> jsut plain clumsiness. This I would posit would be universal to all
> cultures. Maybe then, instead of looking merely at language to represent
> single unit of measure for sociocultural theory we look to behavior sets
> that fall within specific contexts.
> what do you think?
> eric
> Gordon Wells
> < To:
> > cc:
> Subject: Re: LCA: A novice
takes a first shoot: spreading the symbol, not
> 06/27/2005 11:15 the meaning.
> PM
> Please respond
> to xmca
> Lars,
> 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
> --
> Gordon Wells
> Dept of Education,
> UC Santa Cruz.
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