3V1001.1

3V1001.01 Letter names: beyond those important as people symbols (10/17/80)

I gave Peggy the small coffee table for her use as a desk, put her
puzzles there and a pile of paper from which she takes pieces to
scribble on. She did so today. When first drawing, she would bring me
her papers and ask me to write “Peggy Lawler” on them. When I asked
what she had drawn, she would often point to a part and say a name,
then agree that I should print the name near the place she pointed.
Subsequently, she took up applying) names to parts of drawings when
talking to herself. Today she scribbled a page full and I overheard her
reciting a list of letter names: “E – B – E – C – A – K” (verbatim)
During this same period, she has been reading Richard Scary’s Great Big
School House. I heard her reading to herself the section on alphabets,
identifiable because of her reciting well known phrases, especially a
garbled version of “now I know my ABC’s, what now do you think of me.”

Clearly, Peggy knows a number of letter names — qua-names — and
distinct from that set which she so richly associates with representing
people. Her letter names “E – B – E – C – A – K” overlap only slightly with
the set of significant symbols P (for Peggy), M (for Mimi), G (for
Mommy), S (for Scurry), R (for Robby) and B (for Daddy). Notice also
that she has at least an introductory knowledge of the alphabetic litany
(Probably sung to her by Miriam or with Miriam. Gretchen has also
read this section of the book to her. The specific question this raises is
whether or not Peggy’s letter name knowledge is actually independent
of singing the litany or derived from it (Can we make some test for this
question in P 145?)

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