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RE: [xmca] activity and reification

What is *historical change in word-meaning*, Martin, if not *development
(historical) of a concept*? 

For me, the two expressions are tantamount, and thus while describing
etymology of manzana, you sounded to me as giving an account of the
historical development of the word. And, of course, I agree with you that
ontogenetic (in an individual)development of concepts does not have to
follow the trajectory of its historical development. This doesn't mean that
*mechanisms* that underlie these two types of development (e.g. saming,
reification)are not the same, or at least similar. 

Seems that we - you and I - are using the same words in different ways (I
can see it all along). So, just to clarify, here are operational definitions
(Jay, don't cringe! I'll explain what I mean by operational definition in my
response to your posting)of our focal terms (concepts) as I use them:
- concept = word and its uses in discourse
- development of concept = a change, historical or ontogenetic, in the use
of a word

And I also believe, as explained in one of my former posts, that as a
developmentalist, you cannot really follow a change in a single word (a
development of a concept) - you need to look at the development of
*discourse(s)* of which this word is a part. Which leads me to the next
posting by Andy... (don't go anyway, more is coming!)


PS. Just as an aside: To your story of manzana I could add the one of the
Hebrew tapuah, which also originated in a kind of generic name for certain
kind of fruit, to eventually differentiate into orange - tapuah zahav, apple
- tapuah etz - and even potato - tapuah adama.

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
Behalf Of Martin Packer
Sent: Saturday, April 23, 2011 2:52 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] activity and reification

Anna and Larry,

I wasn't describing the development of a concept at all. The etymology of
manzana was intended to be an example of the kind of historical change in
word-meaning that LSV draws our attention to. None of my Spanish-speaking
students is aware of this history, which illustrates his point that the
inner form of the word can be lost or forgotten over time. Certainly it's
not a part of these students' concept of [apple] - whatever that is!


On Apr 22, 2011, at 4:05 PM, anna sfard wrote:

> If I understood your question right, Larry, you are asking whether
> development of concrete concepts, such as apple, as described by Martin,
> of more abstract concept, such as number, as described by me, have
> in common. If this indeed is the question, I can only speak of my
> impression, because I'm not sure whether I have a good grasp of Martin's
> thinking. And the impression is: of course they do. There is reification
> processes involved in both of them. Except that the perceptual
> of the apple, as opposed to that of number (which is a reification of
> discursive rather than physical processes)makes a big difference in how
> concepts actually develop and, more specifically, in the role of physical
> experience versus social interaction played in each of them. Hope this
> answer matches your question, even if is not quite satisfactory.
> anna  
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
> Behalf Of Larry Purss
> Sent: Friday, April 22, 2011 5:42 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [xmca] activity and reification
> Anna and Martin
> Anna wrote
> For kids, words do not partition the world in objects mainly, the way they
> do for grownups. Not even nouns. For the little (and cute) ones, words
> translate into routines - ways of doing things. One can see it with
> particular clarity in math. To give just one basic example out of the
> infinity of possibilities: Numbers begin their existence as procedures of
> counting - something you can see when your repeated question "How many
> cookies do I have here?" makes the child to repeat the counting rather
> prompting her to simply state the last word she has prfeviously uttered in
> this process. It will take time till the reification/ objectification of
> number words occurs. Just like "bottle" serves a baby as a trigger for the
> routine of getting fed, so are the words such as "many", "more", etc. mere
> prompts fos r counting. In this latter case, however, unlike in the
> this procedure (counting) is a social game rather than anything that would
> have any direct practical significance.
> e difference is
> Martin you described how thw terms "apple" and "pomme" [fruit of fruits]
> reifications of particular historical enactments which have lost their
> historical grounding and must be re-discovered.
> Anna or Martin
> Do you see both what the child is developing as it turns an enactment into
> number and the adult developing the word pomme as equivalent processes of
> enactments becoming reified?
> Larry
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