3V0568.01 A Verbal Confusion: 08/13/79;

During the videotape session P81, Robby read THE POKY LITTLE PUPPY to
Peggy. At that time, or later in the evening, Peggy pointed to a picture
of a lizard (on the page with no other animals). “Lizard,” I said. Peggy
imitated my naming by saying /***/, possibly /***/. (This heard
pronunciation should be verifiable (or not so) if the incident occurred
during P81.)

Relevance: This incident could be important in itself if my hearing and
recall are borne out. Notwithstanding that question, this incident and
Gretchen’s observation of 8/14 (On) are quite important for raising in
concrete terms a central theoretical issue: how precisely are word
knowledge and operation and thing knowledge related? More
specifically, is “lizard” originally confused with “scissors” and
differentiated from it? (Would not this be a pristine example of
“linguistic confusion” and the establishment of a “must-not-confound”

Peggy’s first production of “on” occurred with an activity she had long
been accustomed to, both in the videotape experiments and
otherwheres, i.e. sticking parts of herself into things (last night I saw
her put her entire leg inside an empty coffee jar). Can we not infer that
this word is a late association (as a label for a relation) with a well
developed body of body knowledge? The production is evidence of the
association — which might have occurred earlier when Peggy put a
thing ON and someone said “on” at the same time.

I have a sense that these incidents permit and even promise a
deepening of my microworlds’ formulation — one wherein language
serves primarily as a labeling of relations between structures of
knowledge (of parts thereof, also) — a role integral with and yet
profoundly different from that of the structures themselves — and a
role capable of increasing the complexity of interaction of a primate
mind to the complexity we homo sapiens witness.

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