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3V0189.02 Socialization and the use of Language: /ae……ae/ 7/30

When I left Peggy on the bed — on her stomach — while writing these notes, I set her looking out the glass doors of our second-story balcony because Peggy has much enjoyed looking at the play of light on moving leaves. I sat on the far side of the room. When I left her vision field, Peggy cried and I remember saying a few phrases trying to console her. Then I fell silent. After looking out the windows a little, Peggy began a conversation: /aeh…aeh/ — (remember that she couldn’t see me). When I imitated her, she broke into a big smile and tried to turn in my direction (I believe she still did not see me). Peggy and I continued talking this way for a while, after which she let her head down and began her current plosive-dominated babbling repertoire.

I consider this incident as significant because it shows Peggy using even her small command of language in a social/functional way. She is not crying to get a response, she is using language — the social means for action at a distance (and even out of sight).

Where did this verbal turn-taking originate? Let’s say it began through Robby’s “entertaining” Peggy — which he did by making long strings of varieties of sounds — to which she responded with fascination. It continued with all of our imitations of Peggy’s noises — in what I see as our attempt to establish just this sort of communication with her (doing so massively re-inforces early imputation of person hood to her [sic]). A second specific and probably very important source has been Peggy’s socializing at feeding time.

Peggy frequently interrupts her feeding to draw back from the breast and to smile at Gretchen. Although this distresses Gretchen when her milk has first let down, later on in the typical feeding they both have enjoyed the smiling and Gretchen’s imitation of Peggy’s noises. How long has this been going on? Perhaps Gretchen can recall precisely. A second of this feeding socialization is Peggy’s distractability at feeding. How long has it been now that Peggy stops feeding and looks at the speaker when anyone addresses Gretchen?

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