3V0380.01 Need for specificity expands repertoire of signifiers 2/6/79
Peggy drives [us] to distraction. A few weeks ago when her talk was all /[th]aet/[th]aet/ and her pointing restricted to pictures, the talk was endurable, but now that it is coupled with specific objectives Gretchen and I are subject to streams of /[th]aet/ and /hae/[th]aet/ and [WANT THAT]. Peggy clearly knows what she wants; when we offer her something not her desire she turns away. This move expresses her rejection and exacerbates our frustration. She turns back with intensified commands: /hae/[th]aet/- hae/[th]aet/. WHAT does she want?
We ALL need to have Peggy discover the use of names. She appears to have begun making distinctions in her specification of things./[th]aet/ is now interlaced with /zit/. I believe her use of /zit/ derives directly from our questioning as we search for what she wants. “Is it this?…Is this it?” (/iz/[th]is/it/ on repetition –> /iz/[th]i/zit/). The distinction (probably to be a transient one) is that Peggy now applies /zit/ to nearby things and /[th]aet/ to those far away. (Note that we most frequently ask “Is this it?” about objects within our reach on the table; since her arrowroot cookies are kept on a remote counter, they are rarely touched when we ask, “Is this it?”)