3V0541.02 Comprehension evidence for “what’s that?” — Infant explanation
Importance — I consider this exceptionally clear evidence that Peggy
understands the meaning of the question “What’s that?” I judge it
important because it is a general request for information sufficient to
meet another’s criterion. Her first attempted answer, pointing to the
scar, is a sort of identity assertion. The second answer, when I was not
satisfied, coupled a mumbled utterance (does not this production give
us some sense of her interpretation, i.e. [if]? you can explain a thing by
mumbling ‘anything at all’ we might infer she attributes no specific
meaning to the words which she receives in answer to her “that”
requests) with specification by pointing. The third explanation, by
analogy to her scar, witnesses that she understands I want her to make
sense of what she is concerned with for my benefit.
Perhaps this illuminates her interest in the first place. If she explains
what she sees through what she has experienced personally, the trauma
of my removing her splinter sensitized her to phenomena that are
interpretable by that experience. What are the “features” implicated?
Probably only that the mark is long and thin and a gouge in the surface
(the latter likely more important).