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RE: [xmca] Intensions in context and speech complexity ; From 2-?
One more reference pertaining to internalization.
Valsiner devotes Chapter 3 of The Guided Mind to the topic.
"Jones, Peter" <P.E.Jones@shu.ac.uk>
Sent by: email@example.com
07/23/2009 06:39 AM
Please respond to "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com>, "eXtended Mind, Culture,
Subject: RE: [xmca] Intensions in context and speech complexity ; From 2-?
Hi andy and mike and all
Many thanks for your interest in the paper and for comments which I'll
take on board very seriously.
It is, as billed, a critical exploration of some aspects of vygotsky's
work but certainly not an attempt at a balanced, overall appraisal - I
think the conclusion says 'an irreverent romp around cultural-historical
theory' which was maybe not such a good idea after all. But I'm
concentrating here on a particular issue - namely the specifically
linguistic arguments and assumptions which inform and underlie the speech
internalization hypothesis which LSV advances. And it is, in response to
your query, in the details of this particular argument that the influence
of the standard 'language myth' is to be detected in my view, which I
summarise in the conclusion. In other words, the whole problematic of
'egocentric speech', 'inner speech' and so on is framed around particular
ideas and assumptions taken from particular linguistic theories and
traditions - is it not legitimate to examine, in the light of more general
considerations to do with the cultural-historical creation of human
capacities and abilities, the validity of these ideas and assumptions and
their compatibility with the overall programme? What if these specific
arguments for speech internalization don't actually hold water? More
generally I think there are a series of interconnected 'issues', let's
say, with vygotsky's position that have been raised critically by many and
various scholars from time to time - internalization, the natural-cultural
(lower-higher) distinction, the relationship between word and concept, and
the (quite disastrous) cross cultural research on which Luria and Vygotsky
collaborated. For me, these issues remain deeply problematic and they are
all interconnected as well not least because of the centrality of concepts
of language and meaning which are at the core of vygotsky's thinking about
culture and the cultural nature of human psychological functions. They are
problematic in particular because in my view the relationship of this
whole set of ideas and principles to marx's own views on human activity
and creativity is in question. I'm afraid I don't accept that
internalization is 'part of any rational theory of psychology' for reasons
I give in this particular piece but I do find it interesting how and why
the concept gets into cultural-historical theory in the first place.
Anyway, it's good to hear your views but I guess we'll just have to agree
to disagree for the moment! I apologise, too, for interrupting what was
obviously a fruitful discussion with my own post. I should also say that
the paper in question has been criticised most cogently already by Tatiana
Akhutina and Peter Feigenbaum in a separate discussion.
With all v best wishes
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On
Behalf Of Andy Blunden
Sent: 23 July 2009 05:35
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Intensions in context and speech complexity ; From 2-?
I had a read of your paper.
You argument hinges on the proposition that Vygotsky
uncritically accepted "the language myth" as the foundation
of his psychology. You explain this myth via Harris on p.
168. It's more or less the spontaneous, common sense view of
language. But Peter, I can find no point of contact between
this myth and what I have read in Vygotsky, except that in a
certain sense I think Vygotsky assumed the existence of the
myth as a background in explaining his contrary view. I
recall nothing of this in what you taught me in that van in
England in 1984. I don't believe in the "myth" and yet to an
extent of 99% my knowledge of linguistics comes from
Vygotsky. The proposition is not believable.
Why the need to shoot down Vygotsky at this time?
Also, I think it is a mistake to think that the word
"internalisation" connotes one specific set of ideas along
with it. And actually the same applies to many words. People
brought up in China speak Chinese. People brought up in
England speak English. Was it in their genes? Did they
reinvent the language personally? *Some* kind of
internalisation is part of any rational theory of
psychology. One of the first things I learnt from Vygotsky
was how learning is an active process of appropriation and
even invention. This does exclude the idea of "internalisation."
Jones, Peter wrote:
> Hi all
> I take the liberty of attaching a recent published paper on the theme of
vygotsky's conception of the transformation of external into inner speech
in case it may be of some interest. The abstract is rather stark and
possibly unhelpful in tone but I hope there is something a bit more
comprehensible and relevant within!
> All v best
> Pete E Jones
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
On Behalf Of Mike Cole
> Sent: 20 July 2009 15:57
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Intensions in context and speech complexity ; From
> Andy/David/ Lois:
> Why are the simplifications when children imitate sentences that carry
> the intentions of others and limit their agency to
> complying with external constraints imposed by others absent when they
> out their own intentions in speech acts that are instrumental to
> out those goals and may be more complicated, grammatically, than what
> experimenters ask of them? I get the dropping out the subject part in
> speech, I think.
> On Sun, Jul 19, 2009 at 10:30 PM, Andy Blunden <email@example.com>
>> Mike, my reading of Vygotsky's explanation of the process of speech
>> abbreviated as it transforms into silent speech, as I recall, is that
>> child for example leaves off the subject of a sentence for example,
>> they already know the subject, and such like. I.e., as I read it, they
>> dense elements of context internally so that the verbal instruction to
>> themselves carries that context implicitly. Just like if I say "Pass me
>> that" the hearer won't understand without the help of a shared visual
>> So intention is part of the context, but it is the context, and it's
>> various mental representations and cues which is relevant, isn't it?
>> So for example, the continued presence of all the elements of a snippet
>> dialogue act as cues which would allow something to be repeated,
>> entire act in response to cues in the context can be repeated.
>> But also, relevant to a topic we have been discussing, Mike, the
>> which the speech act is a part has to be understood and shared by the
>> if they are to make sense of it, and of course psychological testing is
>> generally such a project.
>> I don't really know if that's relevant to the distinction you're after
>> Mike Cole wrote:
>>> David's note of a few days ago on 3-7 year old changes in egocentric
>>> me of an old article by Slobin and Welch (reprinted in Ferguson and
>>> *Studies of Child Development, 1963)
>>> *that it took a while to track down. The study is often cited in
>>> elicited imitation where an adult says some
>>> sentence and asks a little kid to repeat it. Kids simplify the
>>> normal circumstances ("Where is the kitty"
>>> becomes "where kitty") and other such stuff. There is a pretty large
>>> literature on this.
>>> But when I went to find the phenomenon in the article that had most
>>> me, I could not find it in the recent lit
>>> on elicited imitation. The phenomenon seems relevant to the monologic,
>>> dialogic etc speech discussion.
>>> The phenomenon is this: When a 2yr/5month old child is recorded
>>> you finish your eggs all up, Daddy, you
>>> can have your coffee." they can repeat this sentence pretty much as it
>>> right afterward. But 10 minutes later it has
>>> become simplified a la the usual observation.
>>> Citing William James (the child has an "intention to say so and so")
>>> and Welch remark:
>>> If that linguistic form is presented for imitation while the intention
>>> still operative, it can be faily successfully imitated. Once the
>>> is gone, however, the utterance must be processed in linguistic terms
>>> -- without its original intentional and
>>> contextual support." In the absence of such support, the task can
>>> the child's abilities and reveal a more limited competence than may
>>> be present in spontaneous speech (p. 489-90).
>>> This kind of observation seems relevant in various ways both to
>>> acquisition in school settings and to my reccurrent
>>> questions about the social situation of development. Is it relevant to
>>> discussion of egocentric and social speech, David?
>>> xmca mailing list
>> Andy Blunden (Erythrós Press and Media) http://www.erythrospress.com/
>> Orders: http://www.erythrospress.com/store/main.html#books
>> xmca mailing list
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