3V1171.3

3V1171.03 Counting in French: “Quatorze” (+ dog) (4/7/81)

Peggy counts in French, which to her is “spelling”, i.e. reciting a list of non-sense sounds as an amplification or explication of something about a meaningful (?) work[d?]. Beginning with “/cat//twank/”, Peggy has picked up “/cat//torze/” (single word, no caesura) from Miriam’s recitations — partly offered as a humorous correction. But this evening at supper, “spelling French” she began “/cat/twank/…/cat/torze/…” As we all smiled, looking at her, wondering what next, Peggy knew she was expected to continue, as she did “/cat/torze/…/dog/….” at which our laughter permitted her to join us in the joke and escape our expectations of her going on.

Calling on a principle to extend a performance. The basic type is semantic, as opposed, for example, to phonetic variation. The particular choice is opposite (dog from cat fits requirement for something different) with similar type, e.g. small domestic animal. A nice solution, inappropriate by cultural accident.
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