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3V0092.1

3V0092.01 Visually tracking a conversation (4/24/78)

On 4/24/78 We went to visit the Clamans (and Peggy received the rabbit mentioned above). After the usual greetings and milling around, the children disappeared in the basement to watch baseball and the adults settled to talk in the living room. I sat on the couch with Priscilla, holding Peggy seated in my lap. Bob and Vic sat in chairs across the room, one on each side of the fireplace. Peggy began scanning this novel scene, her head moving from Priscilla on the left to bob in the center to Vic at the right and back again, pausing perhaps half a second to eye each person. she performed this back and forth viewing cycle continuously for a period of several minutes.
G.

3V0123.1

3V0123.01 Mimi Sinclair; Meltzoff move (5/25/78)

Yesterday Peggy came as Gretchen and I went to MIT to hear Mimi [Sinclair] speak on language and pre-linguistic development. Peggy put on a good smiling show for every one looking at her & was generally quite well behaved. She let out a few squawks during the lecture but was distracted enough by Gretchen not to be a nuisance. Before the lecture, we had introduced Peggy to Mimi and she told us not to be upset if Peggy made a little noise, only to take her out if she made a lot of noise. Mimi stuck out her tongue at Peggy, who immediately responded in kind, then “You imitate already. You’re not supposed to do that yet.”

3V0123.2

3V0123.02 Videotape Series Beginnings 05/25/78

Peggy was 4 months old on Tuesday. I’ve thought of starting a videotape series on Peggy’s development — to begin at 4 months — but don’t really know what to do. I would buy the tape and begin this early — partly to keep for my own memory a sense of what Peggy is like as a baby.
Bob

3V0125.4

3V0125.04 Gradual advances in time of a response: 4;4 (5/27/78)

I have mentioned that Peggy does not cry in the morning. Usually I will go to her when I begin to hear her move around, so often I find her doing press ups. When I lean over the crib and call her name, Peggy looks around until she locates my face and then gives me a big smile. Yesterday she was still lying with her cheek on the mattress (facing out from the wall) and her eyes closed. At the sound of my voice, she immediately opened her eyes and smiled. (The smiles appear more quickly than they used to — less time appears to be required to find me).

Carrying Peggy out of the bed room this morning after changing her diaper, I said something endearing to her, and she smiled in response. However, her mouth was already full of fist, so that her smile consisted of a tightening of the cheeks (observable from above whenever she smiles) and a wrinkling up of the nose.

3V0126.1

3V0126.01 Nursing: socialization and vocalizations; “owl cup” fascination 05/28/78

text needs to be recovered from earlier documents

3V0138.3

3V0138.03 Siblings Playing with Robby and Miriam: 6/9/78, 4, 18

text recovery needed for this vignette

3V0189.1

3V0189.01 Rolling Over (7/30/78)

This past week we have not observed Peggy’s intensive chatter in positions other than on her back in the morning or in her infant seat at feeding time — until just now. Peggy is lying babbling on her stomach. How she got there is a small tale in itself.
After being fed, Peggy was left alone on the bed while Gretchen went to bathe. I played with her, as she lay on her back — babbling and playing with her toes. when she made noises of the kind that usually precede spitting out just eaten milk I sat her up, patting her back, then folded behind her one of the pillows which prevented her from falling off the bed. Peggy “sat up” — showing a persistent tendency to fall on one side. As I propped her up with a hairy arm, she began plucking at the hair and her back slipped down from the pillow. This put her in a clearly uncomfortable position. She began pushing with her legs — the move of her on-the-back-accidental crawl … the result I ascribe to an attempt to escape a wet diaper while rolled on her back. Then came Peggy’s big surprise. As she kicked hard with her left foot, she rolled over her right side onto my arm (she had been leaning much in that direction). Peggy looked quite surprised. she showed a big smile right after her look of surprise.

Peggy has learned to live with accidentally rolling on her back — after first reacting with frustration after doing so (and perhaps fright), she managed eventually to entertain herself by playing with her feet and babbling. I conclude from her early reactions that rolling on her back was one of those defeats, and an important one, to which the growing infant is frequently subject. This incident marks the first indication that rolling over is a reversible operation through an autonomous action.
When I left Peggy on the bed — on her stomach — while writing these notes, I set her looking out the glass doors of our second storey balcony because Peggy has much enjoyed looking at the play of light on moving leaves. I sat on the far side of the room. when I left her vision field, Peggy cried and I remember say a few phrases trying to console her. Then I fell silent. After looking out the window a little, Peggy began a conversation. /aeh..aeh/ (remember that she couldn’t see me). when I imitated her, she broke into a big smile and tried to turn in my direction (I believe she still did not see me). Peggy and I continued talking this way for a while, after which she let her head down and began her current plosive dominated babbling repertoire.
I consider this incident as significant because it shows Peggy using even her small command of language in a social/functional way. She is not crying to get a response, she is using language — the social means for action at a distance [and even out of sight].

Where did this verbal turn taking originate ? Let’s say it began through Robby’s “entertaining” Peggy — which he did by making long strings of varieties of sounds — to which she responded with fascination. It continued with all of our imitations of Peggy’s noises — in what I see as our attempt to establish just this sort of communication with her [doing so massively reinforces of early imputation of personhood to her].

A second specific and probably very important source has been Peggy’s socializing at feeding time. Peggy frequently interrupts her feeding to draw back from the breast and to smile at Gretchen. Although this distresses Gretchen when her milk has first let down, later on in a typical feeding the both have enjoyed the smiling and Gretchen’s imitation of Peggy’s noises. How long has this been going on ? Perhaps Gretchen can recall precisely. A second index of the feeding socialization is Peggy’s distractibility at feeding. How long has it been now that Peggy stops feeding and looks at the speaker when anyone addresses Gretchen.

3V0216.4

3V0216.04 Robby Pretending to Speak for Dapper Dan;
Peggy talking to toys and Scurry

One of the toys not shown on videotape is Dapper Dan — a baby-size cloth doll. After the session, I propped Dapper Dan in the corner of Peggy’s playpen and left her with the two older children reading in the library. From my reading alcove, upstairs I heard a conversation going on. Robby “hid” outside the playpen behind Dapper Dan. When Peggy started talking to Dapper Dan, he responded in the appropriate turn. After a while this lost interest for him. Over following days, Peggy addressed Dapper Dan on occasion and received no response and has stopped doing so (recall she also used to address Scurry with the same expectation).

Can we figure out some simple experiment which will permit us to determine how Peggy classifies things into speakers and non-speakers (or interactors and non-interactors)?

3V0221.2

3V0221.02 Peggy Following Gretchen’s Pointing to a Mirror: 8/31/78;

A couple days ago I was upstairs in the hall about 5-6 feet away from the mirror with Peggy in my arms. We faced the mirror, but Peg’s attention was on something (such as her toes) and she did not notice the reflection. I said, “Look Peggy, look at the mirror.” and lifted one arm up to point at it. Peggy’s head moved as her eyes followed my hands, then along the point. Her face lit up in a smile as she saw our reflection.

3V0225.2

3V0225.02 Recognition Vocabulary 09/04

What words does Peggy recognize at 32 weeks? It’s very clear she recognizes her name (and Gretchen avers she has for some time) with considerable discrimination. The evidence is of various sorts. When I fed her last night (pears on the spoon) she was distracted by her rattle and the liner of her chair,, preferring playing with them to interacting with me. Calling her name immediately attracted her attention. I found myself then giving informed instruction, i.e. emphasizing and using with regularity the word MORE in this fashion: with Peggy’s attention gained (and with the spoon in view) I’d say “more?” If she smiled, I’d bring the food to her mouth, scraping off the pears on her upper lip, and repeat “more?” The criterion ‘smile’ had to be more than that, the “wiggly smile”, a laugh on her lips and arms and legs flailing. I don’t think Peggy discriminates the word “more” from any other. (This might be another question to test in today’s videotape if she is fed in that interval.) Peggy responds to her name when others call her. Yesterday Miriam was overseeing Peggy as she crawled about on the bedroom floor. She talked to her in long phrases which Peggy ignored. When Peggy came near the bed, Miriam called her. “Peggy!” and instructed her not to go under. Since Peggy still continued crawling, Miriam repeated the injunction and its call several times. In every case, Peggy attended to Miriam when her name was called. Sitting on my lap the day before, turned sideways and trying to evade my grasp so that she could chew on the chair arm, Peggy turned to me both times I called her name. In other instances: Oscar….Feathers….Meggy….Peggy [inflections indicated in original] Finally with “Peggy” again she turned back to me.

3V0233.3

3V0233.03 Understanding the command “No!” 9/12

UNDERSTANDING “NO” — Saturday I sat in my chair trying to write. Gretchen left Peggy on the floor of our bedroom/study while she tended to the wash. Peggy played with the sunlight and shadows made by trees moving beyond the porch and open screen door, then turned her attention to the trash can — a plastic container, about 6 by 8 inches and ten inches high, with a few papers visible at the top. Peggy raised her shoulders on one hand and reached for the lip of the trash can. “Peggy. No.” I interrupted her — and she put her hand down, turning to look at me. She raised her hand a second time. “Peggy. No.” She looked again. Then, still looking at me, she raised her hand toward the lip of the can. “Peggy. No.” After a fourth try came a very surprising response. Peggy asked me a question — one with no words, with only a rising intonation over an indistinct vowel. Was it her /ae/, the vowel of our verbal imitation game? It seemed between that and a shwa. But what did she mean (if anything)? Was it a whimper of frustration? Was it “Why not?” sans words? or “Can’t I, please?” I suspect to her it meant all of these. I said again, “Peggy. No.” She turned away to play with the sunlight and shadow.
After a few minutes Peggy was back at the trash can. Each time as she raised her hand, she stopped when she heard “Peggy. No.” But, after six more tries, I stopped interrupting her. She pulled over the trash can and scattered papers all over the floor.

Since my telling Gretchen that I believe Peggy understands in a limited sense what “NO” means, she has tried to control Peggy with that command — with, I suspect, unrewarding results (“control” here means get her to stop flailing out with eager arms at a spoonful of food as Gretchen tries to feed her).

RELEVANCE – This note continues our establishment of a catalog of words Peggy uses, our attempt to describe their original appearance in the context. I mentioned to Gretchen that we should try introducing to Peggy a distinction between “NO” and “LET BE” — the first to mean “stop what you are doing”, the second to mean “let that thing alone.”

3V0233.5

3V0233.05 Miriam as Instructor 9/12

MIRIAM AS INSTRUCTOR — Miriam frequently gets stuck with the job of caring for Peggy over short intervals of time. For example, she may care for her while Gretchen bathes in the morning. Miriam’s play varies considerably. Sometimes she plays interactively (cf. 8/26); other times she plays with Peggy more as an object than a person. Sometimes Peggy is little more than an excuse for Miriam to play with Peggy’s toys. For example, I tied a string to a small silver rattle and placed it around Peggy’s neck. It was soon a favorite toy. Miriam took it from her, made the loop smaller and placed it around the neck of Charlie (Peg’s bear) despite Peggy’s immediate and vociferous complaints.

At the beach, Miriam has been teaching Peggy to walk. (She supports her under the armpits and directs her feet by the pressure of her own legs.) She has been teaching Peggy how to play ring-toss with the ring tower. Peggy has many times nearly got one of the larger rings on the pole. Seeing her pick up the yellow ring (which Miriam left in the scatter of the floor) and reach up and out, hitting the pole with her hand in which the ring is grasped, inclines me to believe she is trying to get it on but has a motor skill inadequacy for the task. Finally, Sunday morning, Miriam sat on the floor with Peggy and pointing to the fire in our floor- level hearth, said, “Look, Peggy, look at the fire.” That is, she is giving labeling instructions in a format out of the Dick and Jane books. Peggy followed her pointing from where they sat together.

3V0236.1

3V0236.01 Gretchen and Miriam with “Peggy, come here.” 9/15

COME HERE — Gretchen has been teaching Peggy to respond in specific ways to a variety of simultaneous gestures. When Peggy wants to get up, for example, she usually cries and arches her back. Then Gretchen holds out two arms to her, wiggling her fingers, and says, “Give me your hand …give me the other hand.” On Peggy’s hands being taken Gretchen then picks Peggy up. I have seen Gretchen making similar gestures when Peggy was crawling on her stomach, crying to be picked up, but here “Give me your hand” was preceded by “Peggy. Come here, Peggy.” Peggy did not crawl to Gretchen and Gretchen immediately crossed to pick her up.

Playing this morning in our bedroom, while Peggy was crying as described Miriam imitated Gretchen’s gestures and called, “Come here, Peggy.” Peggy crawled over to her.

9/20 I have tried calling Peggy. She usually waits for me to come get her.

3V0239.1

3V0239.01 Naming buttons. 9/18

NAMING — Peggy was sitting in Gretchen’s lap, facing her. She began playing with the buttons on Gretchen’s sweater, first handling them then trying to put them in her mouth. “Those are BUTTONS, Peggy, BUTTONS. Don’t put them in your mouth.” Stopped from playing with Gretchen’s sweater, Peggy turned to her own sleeper and played with her buttons. “That’s right, Peggy, buttons. Those are your buttons.”

3V0240.1

3V0240.01 Substituting “bub” for /ae/ in conversations with Peggy. 9/19

/b/\b/b/\b/b/\b/ — Peggy’s conversations at table have continued much as previously described. Her primary phoneme is /ae/ in this use, which she repeats with many variations of tone, length and number of repetitions. In our conversations of this day, I tried to see if Peggy would imitate me when I introduced a different phoneme into the conversations. She did not. In response to her /ae/ variations, I said, “/b/\b/ /b/\b/ /b/\b/.” Peggy still said /ae/ variations.

3V0241.1

3V0241.01 Bub-bub-bub now Peggy’s dominant sound.

Peggy’s conversations today began with /b/\b/ /b/\b/ /b/\b/.
9/21 ff. /b/\b/ has now become the dominant phone in Peggy’s conversations. We’ve decided to do an extra tape on Sunday, P 35, to try to capture Peggy’s morning conversations.

3V0245.1

3V0245.01 Everyday prohibitions as source of naming 9/24/78

Peggy was crawling about on the living room floor as Gretchen chatted with a house guest. The floor was littered with her toys and the dog’s. “No, Peggy. Don’t chew on that. That’s Scurry’s bone.”

RELEVANCE — The kinds of verbal naming formulae witnessed by Ninio appear in everyday incidents of prohibition. Teaching a kid words from book-reading and looking at pictures appears a relatively unnatural task into which the woman subject apparently transposed the harder to document, more natural occurrence, from situations where verbal commands control the infant.

3V0245.2

3V0245.02 P035 is where Peggy’s verbal imitation began 9/24/78

9/24 On reviewing P 35, we can see that Peggy began verbal imitation RIGHT THERE! During the experiment, I thought she did not imitate my vowel sounds. On closer review you can see her imitate /b/\b/ /b/\b/ /b/\b/ – /ae/ and /m/\m/. Peggy is now able to learn words! How shall we follow her development?

3V0246.1

3V0246.01 Rejecting food: 9/25/78

Peggy being fed. Deciding she had enough, she stuck out her tongue, full and rounded, effectively blocking off her mouth. At another feeding, she did the same, then looked at me and smiled and opened her mouth for food — (Was it a test to see if she could refuse food that way if she wished ?) A day or so later, she refused food simply by turning her head aside (away from the table).

3V0247.1

3V0247.01 Naming buttons in verbal imitation.
Gretchen’s instruction “cookie”: 9/26/78;

The older children in school and Gretchen chauffeuring a house guest to the bus depot, Peggy was left alone in my care for a few hours today. After her nap and my tending to a variety of her needs, Peggy decided my lap was the place to be. In no time at all, she was investigating my buttons. My flannel overshirt was a rich field — buttons up the middle, on the pockets, and even (ahah!) on the cuffs. I attracted Peggy’s attention to those on her sleep suit. “Those are BUTTONS, Peggy, BUTTONS.” She paused, then “/b/\t/.” When I pointed to those on my shirt and said, “BUTTONS, Peggy, BUTTONS” she repeated, “/b/\t/.”

RELEVANCE — In this incident we can see coming together the labeling instruction that Ninio provoked and Gretchen more spontaneously provided with the verbal imitation first documented in session P 35 (9/24). The initial and final consonants are not the same as were all the examples of P 35. I would make no claim at this point that Peggy associates her production /b/\t/ with buttons, but it must be absolutely clear that through such situations as this Peggy will come to make naming associations. (Down stairs, now, I hear Gretchen feeding Peggy: Peggy, would you like a COOKIE, COOK-IE.” I assume she talks to herself partly for her own amusement at a monotonous task — as in this case she was partly imitating Sesame Street’s cookie monster.)

3V0254.1

3V025401 Miriam naming people for Peggy. 10/03

NAMING — This was one of those bad days for Miriam where her wheezing/ upchucking of medicine kept her home from school. Thus early in the morning she was saddled with responsibility for Peggy. Miriam played with Peggy on the bed and as is frequently the case with Miriam, the instructor came to the fore. Touching Peggy, she said, “Peggy. Peggy,” then pointing to herself, “Miriam. Miriam.” I rose from the typewriter to recover some notes from another place. As I walked across the room, Miriam pointed at me. “Dada,” she repeated several times. Peggy mumbled some sounds which Miriam interpreted as “Mama.” “No, Peggy. Not Mama. Dada.”

3V0256.1

3V0256.01 Verbal Imitation of “shoe” 10/01

Gretchen left Peggy with me while she made cookies in preparation for the first meeting of Robby’s cub scout pack. After trying to constrain Peggy various ways and failing, I let her roam around the floor of our bedroom/ study. After beating the log carrier with her toy giraffe and munching on her hairbrush, Peggy crawled in my direction and as she has done frequently, began beating on my shoe. Catching her eye, I said, “Shoe, Peggy, shoe.” Peggy repeated, “Shoe.” Her imitation, tentative and lacking clear enunciation, had nonetheless the right components.

RELEVANCE — Miriam first, then the rest of us, finding that Peggy has begun verbal imitation, began instructing Peggy in naming. The main focus is on people, but buttons, spoons, and shoes come in for their share of attention. It’s very hard to say why. It’s clear there is some element involved of simply taking advantage of a new opportunity to have a hand in doing something significant. We must view acculturating Peggy as a very significant accomplishment. There is also the long persistent drive to help Peggy reveal to us who she is.

3V0263.1

3V0263.01 Waving, communication through imitation. 10/12

WAVING — Peggy sat in my lap after dinner. We had indulged in some conversations with Peggy. Robby approached my chair and Peggy said /ae/, flapping both her arms as she has long done when excited. Robby repeated /ae/ and waved his right arm. Peggy smiled then /ae/ /ae/, waving one arm (her right) once for each sound. Robby imitated her precisely. Both continued this communication, varying the number of sounds and wavings, for over two minutes, with Peggy always directing.

RELEVANCE — (see comments in V0263.02)

3V0263.2

3V0263.02 Social Selection of some actions

Social Selection of some actions as interesting leads to their entering the repertoire.
RELEVANCE (of preceding story in V0263.01) — Here we see an accidental correspondence of two actions selected as significant, of interest, to another person. This stumbling upon an interesting new pattern so pleased Peggy that she elevated the combined element into a new pattern in her repertoire. Both actions were well under Peggy’s control when it happened. This is clear evidence that she can assemble joint actions from single actions. It also shows the build[ing] of a repertoire of ‘interesting’ actions which can serve as a pool of potentially meaningful communication transactions.

3V0267.1

3V0267.01 Associating Sounds with People. Interesting Action. 10/16

Peggy went through a period of several days where she seemed to associate her sounds with people. The most striking case was ma-ma(repeated an indefinite number of times with no obvious relevant stress on intonational accenting), which she apparently connected with Gretchen. This delighted Gretchen, who would typically respond, “That’s right, Peggy, ‘mama’, that’s me!” [note by Gretchen: to establish that connection firmly.]

The non-standard variation that made this so striking and amusing was Peggy’s putting on me the “label” /b/\b/ /b/\b/ /b/\b/ instead of da da.
RELEVANCE — As with her discovery that waving was an “interesting” action, i.e. one she could use in social exchange with another person, Peggy appeared on the verge of discovering naming as such an interesting action.

3V0278.2

3V0278.02 Pipe play: giving as a communication protocol 10/27/78

PIPE PLAY — When sitting in my lap, Peggy frequently ends up with one of my old pipes. (I still carry them about in a shirt pocket and chew on the stem, though I no longer smoke.) These pipes of mine have become a favorite toy of hers. I am only marginally concerned that she may eat a little carbon — but it does make a mess when she chews on the wrong end (her standard practice). I have become accustomed, occasionally taking a pipe from her, to “instruct” her by putting the stem end in my mouth. Playing [in] my lap tonight, Peggy had a different idea — she offered the pipe-stem end of the pipe to me by raising it and poking it close to my mouth. When I took it between my teeth, she laughed then took the pipe back from me.

RELEVANCE — This seems a spontaneous example of play-giving. Its significance is that this sort of game can (and probably will) develop into another kind of social communication ritual. — She has given the pipe to me, and I let her have it back immediately. Will she “turn around” this communication protocol? If I give to her, will she give back?

3V0294.1

3V0294.01 The IMPURE POINT and progressive structuration: 11/12/78

As observed more generally by Bruner, this infant Peggy started “pointing” around 9 months of age. (confer P40 and P41, I don’t know if earlier tapes contain unremarked examples of earlier pointing). Since the appearance, we have watched Peggy’s pointing more closely off camera. She does point with her index finger solus, but more commonly she points with her index, middle fingers extended and joined — as this morning she pointed at a fire I had built, saying at the same time /dae/dae/dae/dae/. Robby, now much engaged in cub-scouting, has been delighted to call to our attention the many times Peggy “give the cub scout salute.”

Peggy frequently sucks on her fingers and her impure point is often a wet one as well. A simple speculation is that Peggy is treating separately groups of fingers (that motor control is becoming gradually more discriminating — and that she is splitting out groups for distinct control which will finally result in specific, directed control of digits.) My scenario is that Peggy, sucking on two fingers, has the remaining two fingers closed with the thumb and when she removes her hand from her mouth to point, the command functions for the two fingers being jointly sucked. This speculation is ab initio unlikely because Peggy’s characteristic finger couple for sucking is the two middle fingers. I have asked Gretchen to watch Peggy’s finger sucking very carefully now before she does any pointing.

Relevance: I consider this hypothesis a good one to test because, joining as it does Berrill;s view of progressive structuration with observable phenomena, I might come up with a strong contrary view to Bruner’s offhand contention that the development of the pure point is “encoded in the genome.”

3V0297.1

3V0297.01 Pointing at Bob: 11/15/78

Yesterday morning I was sitting on the end of the bed with Peggy on my lap. Bob was in his chair, behind and to my right. All three of us faced in the same direction. Peggy was babbling away and when she said /dae/dae/dae/, I asked her “Where’s Daddy? Where’s Daddy ?” Peggy immediately turned to her right, looking over our shoulders, and indicated Bob with an impure point.

3V0306.3

3V0306.03 Pervasive Instruction. 11/24

PERVASIVE INSTRUCTION — Peggy’s maternal grandmother (Edie) has been visiting us for the week around Thanksgiving. Six months ago she played “Clap hands, here comes Charlie” with Peggy and is delighted that Peggy claps on command and gets others to clap by doing it herself. While she sat across the table and clapped, both imitating and leading, she added a new behavior to Peggy’s repertoire — she clasped her hands and held them up over her head. I don’t know how many times it took before Peggy imitated her.

Taking up such an action is something very ‘natural’ to Peggy right now, because it fits in with a more general activity she has engaged in for the past two weeks (at least). Peggy is exploring the parts of her body she can’t see. Sitting on the floor, she lifts both hands up behind her head (almost tipping over). I have seen her play with her hair when doing that. She has played with her silver rattle-cum-string, the string end in one hand and the rattle in the other, lifting both up and beyond her head then pulling the string down behind her back.

RELEVANCE — Both of the preceding observations show adults responding eagerly when Peggy shows herself capable of learning from them. I responded ‘automatically’ to Peggy’s verbal addition to the giving game, before I even noticed what I was doing. Edie introduced her variation on ‘clap-clap’ and made her mark on Peggy.

Finally, Peggy’s exploration of her body should be marked at this time. It may show her conceiving of herself as a complete and circumscribed “object” — at least as an entity.

3V0327.2

3V0327.02 Helen Keller as archetype (12/15/78)

Helen Keller situation as extreme exemplar of every infant’s plight.

3V0329.1

3V0329.01 Pointing and imperative /dae/. Social rich interpretation. 12/17/78

POINTING AND NAMING — Over the last several days Peggy has been VERY cranky. She always wants to be picked up and makes this clear in two ways: she whines or cries; she crawls over and climbs up on your leg. New teeth are definitely coming in (but whether this is adequate to explain her crankiness I cannot say). In this general situation, it has been hard to pay attention to Peggy. But one development has surfaced. When Peggy wants some object she can see in your hands — a pipe for instance — she now reaches out, pointing with two fingers and she says /dae/ with an imperative tone. (She has been doing so for 2 or 3 days now. The frequency is declining and it may drop out of manifest common behaviors.)
This use may derive from the ‘thank you’ and ‘here’ with which we accompany the object exchange in Peggy’s giving. (The inflection of ‘here’ is usually imperative as in “Here. Take this.” as contrasted with the less directive ‘here.’

RELEVANCE — Having re-read the notes above, what I find strange and most in contrast, is the way we actually interpret what Peggy says. Children and grownups hear (assume) Peggy is saying /thaet/ (or is it /daet/?). We interpret what she appears to use in command as a verbal, further- specification — no = we interpret her pointing as a further specification of a nominal or prenomial reference to a thing which we assume she wants.

3V0331.1

3V0331.01 Pointing and Naming. Comprehension evidence. 12/19

POINTING AND NAMING — Today I asked Peggy, “Where’s Peggy’s NOSE?” She brought her hand up to my nose [I don’t remember if she pointed; I think it was the whole hand] and very decisively said, “Da!” NOSE appeared to be the operative word.

3V0357.2

3V0357.02 Reading 1/14/79

READING — When I tired of pipe play and put them away, Peggy pointed to the book about puppies Miriam has given her. Peggy played contentedly for a minute or a few — then she gave the book to me. I thanked her, admired the book, and returned it to her. She was not happy. She kept pointing to the animals (saying /daet/) and I responded “puppy”. On the various pages distinguishing between the puppies and other objects by name and intonation as well. Thus “puppy, puppy, puppy, telephone.” Peggy kept giving the book to me, and I continued returning it. Her frustration grew. I finally caught on. Peggy wanted me to “read” to her. She was contented when I held the book before her, turning the pages when I thought her ready, naming the objects she pointed to. Gretchen has “turned the pages” with Peggy and Miriam has “read” to her.

RELEVANCE — Because books appear to offer an interesting and flexible extension for Peggy’s new interest in pictures I feel we should capture now the style each of us “readers” brings to our book-focused playing with Peggy.

Further, books have the interesting property of being boxes without hollows. I have seen Peggy open a book, put in a teething ring,, then try to close the cover on it. Perhaps we can have her contrast the two in another part of P 51.

3V0361.1

3V0361.01 Two words 01/18/79

TWO WORDS — Peggy has long joined /thaet/ with pointing to call another’s attention to some out-of-reach object. We usually interpret this to mean that she wants to either eat, touch, or mouth the object. Peggy likes to take things to herself — cookies or picture frames. The smaller ones we give her; she mouths them and turns them over for inspection. Yesterday, for the first time, she used in my hearing what I consider an intensive, the word /hae/, by which she appears to mean that she is not merely calling our attention to a target object but that she wants to take it to herself (and soon!).

The forms of her expression vary from strings of /thaet/’s to /hae/thaet/ (two sounds, equally stressed, both heavy; level intonation) to a more staccato form of /hae/thaet/ where the first sound has shorter duration and is unstressed.

The relative frequency of the 3 forms is about 3 to 1 for the first to second with the third being very rare.

RELEVANCE — It appears that approaching one year Peggy is extending a proto-holophrastic into a two proto-word phrase. Why? Is putting one thing after another hard? Doesn’t she frequently hear in response to her ‘thating’ [?]

– do you want that?

– want to have that?

– you can’t have that!
Indeed she does. If stress and tone of the last two sounds are frequently heavy and common respectively.

3V0380.1

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?”)

3V0384.1

3V0384.01 More verbal specificity; productive uses of signifiers 2/10/79

Returning from a three day trip to Boston, I have Peggy in my lap more than usual. At one point, she indicated she wanted Miriam’s belt which lay near by on the floor: /zIt//zIt/. I gave it to her. Peggy chewed it over, and because I figured she might poke herself with the buckle closer (the rod going through the holes in the leather), I fastened the buckle. Peggy took the loop and put it behind her head, then she put it over her head [to] bring it down to her neck.

Casting the belt aside eventually, she pointed to a toy on the floor: /zIt/ /zIt/. I got for her the Snoopy dog (a pull-behind noise maker). Peggy pointed at the dog’s eye — and then at the buckle on its collar. It looks quite similar to the larger one on the belt she had just cast away. When did Peggy notice the similarity? Was it not when she put the belt around her neck as a collar? (The [dog] had been lying upside down; I believe the collar was not visible when Peggy showed she wanted the dog.)

Peggy next turned her attention to my writing table. The clutter thereon demands specific reference. She began /zit/ and kept it up while I offered her first one object, then another. She wanted neither one pipe stem nor the other. After three or four trials she burst out: /thaet//iz//zit/. (The unaccented syllable iz may have been no more than a falling tone on /thaet/.) I turned to Gretchen across the room. “Did you hear that? Did you hear her say ‘That is it’?” Gretchen responded, “That’s what I heard her say.”

Relevance — I judge this last observation to be an important one precisely because it shows Peggy assembling a new grammatical form, i.e. we interpret the utterance as [THAT IS IT]; its genesis is probably an intensive agglomeration of signifiers, i.e. /thaet/ and /zIt/. When she learns some names, we will expect this emphatic agglomeration to produce such phrases as /pen//zIt/, /paip//zIt/, and /thaet//dog/.

3V0385.1

3V0385.01 Peggy’s nose; two element phrase from idiom variation 2/11/79

Peggy sat on my lap, and Miriam, feeling left out, demanded the same privilege. Gretchen has been naming face parts with Peggy for months and Peggy cooperates by reaching out to touch her nose when Gretchen asks, “Where’s my nose?” Miriam asked, “Peggy, where’s my nose?” Her use of “Peggy” was a calling and the word nose was emphasized. Miriam continued, after Peggy’s response, “Where’s Daddy’s nose?” Peggy again touched Miriam’s nose. Miriam said, “No!” and pointing at my face, said, “Daddy’s nose.” Miriam next asked, “Where’s Peggy’s nose?” When Peggy pointed to Miriam’s face, she said, “No. That’s my nose. Where’s Peggy’s nose?” Peggy turn to me and reached out an finger to me. “No. That’s Daddy’s nose.” Miriam continued, “Where’s Peggy’s nose?” Peggy then brought up her hand to her own nose, and Miriam gave her a hug and praised her discovery of her own nose.

Relevance — This may or may not be Peggy’s “discovery of her own nose” (I tend to doubt it is). What I see important in this incident is an example of a process of meaning refinement which requires the joint handling by Peggy of two words, one of which is treated by the speaker as variable, i.e. what Peggy handles as an idiomatic utterance is required to be interpreted as a two- element phrase. The guidance Peggy receives in this setting, both explicit and implicit (the latter by using new terms ‘Daddy’ and ‘Peggy’ with which she is very familiar) is so strong as to be instruction. The requirement for analyzing the idiom to parts and varying one is a very primitive introduction of structure, an impressing of structure upon an idiom. Peggy’s trial and error process of interpreting “Where’s Peggy’s nose?” exemplifies how the differentiation of meaning and the development of structure comprehension is an empirical learning.

3V0387.1

3V0387.01 Peggy varying elements of a transient game; like phrases 2/13/79

Wooba wooba — Peggy hates to have her face washed or her nose wiped. But she does like to take things out of my shirt pockets. Her usual pocket-picking targets are pens or pipe stems. Today, with my having two shirt pockets, she discovered a handkerchief in the second (I was prepared because her extended cold has left her nose frequently run[ny]). I was not happy when Peggy extracted the hanky and held it high. I took it from her, rubbed her mouth and nose, exclaiming ‘wooba wooba’ and returned the hanky to my pocket. Peggy was delighted. A new game! She again extracted the hanky, and the sequence was re-run about ten times, at which point I gave up. Peggy took the handkerchief. When I failed to respond, she looked puzzled at first, then drew the hanky up to her nose with a big smile. I laughed and replaced the hanky in my pocket. Peggy once more extracted the hanky. When I did nothing, she lifted the hanky and put it against my mouth.

Relevance — After the incident of “Peggy’s nose”, I find this little story striking testimony to the coherence of the kinds of actions and transformations of meaning of which Peggy is now capable. It was Peggy’s idea to generalize her game (to keep it going) by varying the agent; it was her idea to generalize immediately the patient of the action (when she wiped my nose) although this was not required to keep the game going.

3V0398.2

3V0398.02 Identifying toys and pictures of foxes; classification possible insight;
(nominal date 2/28/79 added)

Late February – Foxes: (a reconstruction) Before videotape session P57 (a day or two before) Gretchen sat with Peggy on the couch in the living room. Gretchen was ‘reading’ Baby Animals. Peggy pointed at the Fox on the cover and said [that that]. Gretchen responded, “That’s a fox, Peggy, a fox.” Peggy turned and pointed to the picture of Vixen and pup and on turn, to the Fox painting. In both cases, Gretchen confirmed her judgment, “Yes Peggy, that’s a fox too.”`

3V0398.3

3V0398.03 First introduction to pictures of herself. (3/01/79)

Late February – Pictures and Names (a reconstruction) Carrying Peggy back from the balcony, when she pointed to some pictures and requested them, I turned Peggy to pictures of her hanging above the balcony entry. I was trying to distract her attention to pictures beyond her easy reach as mine). That is the place where pictures of Peggy are hung. “See, that’s a picture of Peggy. That’s you, Peggy.” Here, I pointed to her after — both pictures where she, in her familiar robe, is held on her mother’s lap. From being cranky and demanding, Peggy brightened immediately. My impression was that she understood that picture was of her. (It is not at all clear whether she assumes all baby pictures are pictures of her or not — but most of the baby pictures in my room are of Robby and Miriam.)

We continued out into the hallway. Stopping at the hall mirror, I said. “Peggy, see, there’s Peggy.”

Relevance: I note this incident as a possible precursor in kind (though I do not claim this is, in fact) of Peggy’s catching on in an articulated way to the representative character of pictures. (I’m not sure what I mean by this.)

3V0403.1

3V0403.01 “dog” used as a verbal label for Scurry (3/01/79)

Peggy was downstairs in the kitchen with Gretchen. I sought a book
from our shelves on the balcony of the living room. Peggy entered
downstairs and crawled over to the sliding glass doors. (These are a
window on the world at her level. For several weeks she has been
looking over the porch to the woods and playing peek-a-boo and put-
over-my-head with the curtains.) Peggy was “alone”, i.e. she did not see
me on the balcony and I watched from the time she entered. Scurry
barked (she was tied to a tree at the woods’ edge). Peggy pointed to
her and said /dog/ i.e. [DOG]. She did not repeat it.

Relevance — Peggy clearly used /dog/ as a verbal label, a name, for
Scurry. Her use shows no communicative intent to any other person.
Gretchen informs me she has been referring to Scurry as a “dog”, i.e.
whenever Peggy points at her, Gretchen typically says, “That’s Scurry.
She’s a dog.”

3V0432.1

3V0432.01 First example of symbolic thought: “doll-up” for herself (3/30/79)

Miriam has been making fantastic figures by cutting out paper. She
displays them by taping them up below my mantle motto at the second
story fireplace. Peggy caught sight of them and wanted to ‘see’ them.
She indicates this by a high pitched noise of delight //\/ and pointing,
with as many repetitions as necessary. When I carried her up to the
gallery of cutouts, Peggy was especially interest[ed] in the cutout of a
small person with a bow in her hair (the other figures appeared to be
more like hairy critters from some Dr. Seuss book). I gave it to her.
For some time, 2 days, Peggy has wandered about with the cutout doll
in her hand, dropping and neglecting it for a while but later picking it
up again.

Many times, Peggy has brought the cutout doll to me, made her
‘delight’ noise, and set [it] on my knee. My typical response has been
to pick it up, examine it, make some comment and hand it back to her.
Often this has angered or frustrated Peggy. I finally understood when
she began repeating this sequence with Foxy. (Here too my response
was to pick it up, pet it and give it back.) Peggy wanted me to pick her
up; she was using favorite objects to represent herself in
communicating to me what she wanted.

How do I know that’s true? I can’t be certain. Even with the difference
between her delight and frustration, [it] is not an adequate sign because
[she] would be happy to be picked up even if it were only my idea and
not hers. Claiming that Peggy uses a token for herself is thus
imputation — but an important one.

Relevance — If my interpretation is correct, this is the first incident
wherein I have witnessed symbolic thought. It is distinct from simple
naming in that here one object stands for and is operated on as a
representative of the referent. If Peggy is thinking symbolically NOW,
the use of language when it emerges later will be seen as an extension
of symbolic relations already in place.

3V0434.1

3V0434.01 Non-standard use of name ‘bird’ (04/01/79)

We have a “make-it/bake-it” cardinal hanging high on the dining room
window. Peggy is much interested in it, and Gretchen often informs her
that it is a bird. Peggy’s verbal imitations are pretty good. Sometimes
sound turns out more like /b/\p/ or /b/\d/, but it’s quite easy to
distinguish from her other vocalizations. Peggy has begun applying that
label to other things, the outstanding example of which is her pointing
to some Chinese watercolors high on our bedroom wall and repeating
“bird.” One picture is of yellow chrysanthemums and blue butterflies;
the second might be red-bud flowers and bees.

Importance — Peggy applies the label “bird” to “colorful-things-high-
up.” It is not at all clear that she would so name a living bird. Let’s
hope we see.

3V0483.1

3V0483.01 [That’s a pup] (5/20/79)

Robby’s National Geographic World subscription brings other materials
beside the magazine into the house. Beside the vixen and pup poster
(and others) occasionally a small set of ‘cards’ arrives. one recent set
was of various types of dogs. Peggy looked at one with two basset
hounds. “What’s that?” I asked. Peggy paused and replied [That’s a
pup].

3V0485.2

3V0485.02 Game-agent flexibility precursor to language (5/22/79)

Toe grabbing — We grownups tickle Peggy (so do the older children)
and she enjoys it. She has begun to try tickling us in return. Her
attempts are good imitations although not very effective. (She holds
her hand over a patch of skin and scratches [with] all her fingers one
after the other.

Another form of activity in which Peggy has ‘turned around’ the agent-
patient relation is ‘toe grabbing.’ Ofttimes when she carries Peggy past
me, Gretchen stops for a moment. Since she is usually standing and I
am sitting, Peggy’s foot is about hand height and it is my custom to
tickle her foot or grab her foot and wiggle it gently. Early in May, Peggy
toddled over to my chair, grabbed a hold of my big toe and shook it.
She looked at me expectantly, so I made loud noises of surprise. Peggy
was delighted. She has kept up this toe grabbing and has even attacked
my feet from under the dining room table. This apparently delights her
and is quite reminiscent of her cranking Scurry’s tail (which she
enjoys, doubtless, more than the dog does).

Importance — the turning-around of agent-patient relations is an
important precursor in action to structural flexibility in the use of
language.

3V0493.1

3V0493.01 Fragmentary sound knowledge contrast to prosodics (5/30/79)

Diaper = /dai/ — Peggy needed changing this morning — so I believed —
and Gretchen upstairs agreed to do it. Peggy was complaining loudly,
toddling around and smacking her plastic pants. To make certain, I
asked, “What do you want, Peggy?” She replied [die] (/dai/) and
toddled over to the stairs eagerly.

When we got upstairs, Gretchen was folding laundry. I asked her not to
use any of her normal phrases. She asked something like “What shall
we do, Peggy?” Peggy, grabbing her plastic pants and smiling, said /gi/
and ran (at a fast toddle) into her bedroom.

Importance — It is very difficult to capture the sense of an infant’s
knowledge of names in speech production. These two incidents focus
on a situation where Peggy’s meanings were clear to me from the
pragmatics. In her attempts to respond to questions, we see her
produce parts of sound patterns we associated with the name ‘diaper’
and the action ‘change’. This very fragmentary speech knowledge
contrasts amazingly with the performances which witness Peggy’s rich
prosodic knowledge described in the later notes under the heading
TIRADEs.

3V0502.1

3V0502.01 Trash can: comprehension and generalization

Peggy comes to pick at the contents of my writing table whenever she is
in my bedroom. (Just now she took a box of chalk and complained
vociferously when I retrieved it from her). Today she found the cap of
a beer bottle and picked it up. I asked “Will you put that in the trash
can ?” Peggy immediately turned towards it, toddled over, and dropped
the cap in the can.

Questions: 1. how would Peggy have acted if I asked her “Will you put
that in the blitz krieg ?” or made some other equally inappropriate
request ? I should try this.

2. did anyone teach her the name “trash can” ? Gretchen informs me
that yesterday she asked Peggy to put something in the “trash can”
(down in the kitchen, one which is quite different in appearance), and
when Peggy looked blank, she touched it and continued, “This is the
trash can.”

Importance: a surprising response on Peggy’s part is here traced back
to a specific incident in which the name of an object was given and
apparently well-attached to a functionally defined object.

3V0502.2

3V0502.02 Pure verbal interpretation overwhelms context: 6/08/79

Pick up Foxy
The older children have a bad habit (likely picked up from me) of
dropping wherever they are whatever they have no further need of.
when I try to get them to pick up after themselves they complain “I
didn’t have that” or “Shouldn’t (the other child) pick up that (other
thing) also ?” With considerable justice, they complain that Peggy
makes an absolute mess of the house, dropping her things, theirs, or
whatever comes to have wherever she is when something else
dominates her mind. Thus, when I asked Robby today to pick up some
clothes he had dropped in the kitchen I turned to Peggy who had
dropped the toy red fox near her high chair and said “Peggy, will you
pick up Foxy ?” pointing at the toy on the floor. Standing near me and
the toy (to which I pointed and which was in her sight), she looked up
at me then crossed the kitchen to the dog’s bed, grabbed Scurry by the
ear, and tugged at it three times.

Importance: Peggy’s reaction to this instruction was entirely
unexpected. No one has ever referred to Scurry as Foxy. Even though
Foxy (the name we all use for her toy red fox) was in plain view and
further specified by pointing, Peggy apparently considered Scurry the
intended referent of the name I spoke. Clearly, Scurry is the
outstanding exemplar of what a fox is — for Peggy has identified the
Scotty as a fox numerous times on videotape.

It would be a mistake to erect a theory of label fixation on the basis of
a single example, but I incline to see this “error” of interpretation as
similar to the hypothetical process I have otherwheres called the
“nucleation of microworld clusters.” Here, in place of an archetype,
the primary example of Peggy’s class of ‘Fox’, i.e. Scurry, is interpreted
as the referent for a term which has never been applied to her. If no
more, this incident is evidence and a lucid example of how thought
intervenes even in so “simple” a process as the association of names
with referents.

3V0503.1

3V0503.01 [Who have that?] role of pragmatics; example for analysis (6/9/79)

Miriam, sitting at the table, had left a pair of shoes across the kitchen
despite my asking her to pick them up. When I called them to her
attention and we talked about the shoes, Peggy picked up one and
carried it over to Miriam. Miriam tried to get Peggy to bring her the
second shoe as well, speaking in this vien. “Peggy, get me the shoe. The
shoe. Miriam have that.” Peggy went back for the other shoe but
brought it to me at the table. I said, “No, Peg. Not Daddy. Who have
that? Miriam have that.”

Peggy looked at me, walked away carrying the shoe, then dropped it
and turned. She walked determinedly back to me, poked my arm with
her finger, and said, “Dad.”

Importance — Peggy clearly can label me as “Dad.” Her productive use
witnesses it as much as her pointing to her own head when
asked “Where’s Peggy?”

More importantly, this incident witnesses the not-always evident role of
pragmatics. That is, Peggy took Miriam’s shoe (because they were hers?
Because of the size?) Then, she gave me a turn to receive a shoe and
was confused when I verbally redirected her.

3V0509.1

3V0509.01 Writing on a paper bag (6/15/79)

Peggy was running around our bedroom with an open pen. I told her
not to write on her clothes and suggested that she could draw on a
paper bag that lay on the floor. Pointing to it, I said [something like]
“You can use that paper bag there to draw on.” Peggy looked at me,
then at the bag, and went over, picked it up, and handed it to me (just
as though that was what I had said to do). I took the bag, pretended to
write on it, and placed it on the floor in front of her. Peggy
immediately bent down and tried to scribble on the bag. (She does not
realize that a ball point pen requires pressure and will not leave much
of a mark otherwise).

General observations — over the past week or two Peggy has been
reaching out for the banister as she is carried upstairs. If she is close
enough, she will hold on and run her hand along the rail.
She has also begun to smile and clap when praised and/or pleased.

Gretchen.