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3V0001.1

3V0001.01 Recollections of Peggy’s birth 1/23/78

After telling our landlord, as I returned from walking the dog Sunday night, that the baby was not expected for a week, I realized on coming inside that Gretchen was showing the classic signs of imminent labor. All day she suffered lower-back muscular pains, she frequently experienced shooting pains in her legs. Consequently, I was not too surprised when, upon waking at 4:30am, I found Gretchen already in labor. I was surprised she was so far along, with contractions every three to four minutes. Gretchen explained she had wakened at 2 with contractions at 15 minute intervals but felt I needed sleep and saw no reason to wake me.

The suitcase had long been packed. We dressed, readied the car, considered then skipped breakfast, and left for the hospital with deliberate haste. The roads were passable but still in bad condition (24″ of snow had fallen on the 20th and 21st). There was no traffic at the hour and we proceeded without difficulty to the hospital by 5:30am.

By 6am, Gretchen had been admitted and undergone the regimen of delivery preparation. The doctor arrived, checked the cervical dilation, broke the bag of waters, and said he anticipated delivery between 8 and 8:30. The pains were very bad. He ordered a shot and directed me to massage Gretchen’s lower back. By 6:30, it was clear the foetus would not wait. I called our landlord at 6:35 to wake the children and send them to school as he had agreed. During the call, Gretchen was removed from the labor room, I hurried after to the delivery room.

The doctor held the head as it emerged…. Holding her upside down, the doctor suction-cleared her mouth, checked her breathing, and laid Peggy on Gretchen’s stomach.

Peggy was pale blue at birth, as was Robby; I don’t recall Miriam’s color. Peggy’s color led me to ask her Apgar rating (it was 8 at both the first two judgments). Her weight at birth was 8 pounds 8 ounces (Robby had weighed in at 9,2 and Miriam at 8,10). She was delivered at 8:46. The labor was very short (compared to 14 hours for Robby and 10 for Miriam) and painful, since in effect Peggy was delivered without anesthesia. The umbilical cord was cut and Peggy was removed to a warming basket.

At 7:30, Gretchen and Peggy were back in the labor room, resting. I called home to find Robby and Miriam puzzling over whether they should go to school or whether it had been canceled. During a third call, at 8:15, I found school was canceled. The children had to stay at home alone, but had our landlord to call on should any need arise. None did. Robby was able to talk to Gretchen during this call, and he seemed very happy that things had gone so well and that Gretchen could assure him she was allright.

Around 8:30, Peggy was taken to the nursery where she spent most of the morning. Gretchen got cleaned up while I had breakfast, then we spent the morning together in her room in the maternity section of the hospital.

Gretchen added later in a marginal note, about suffering terribly at the delivery — ‘a relative statement – who knows how bad it would have been. Also there is the knowledge you are truly on the home stretch. The entire extent was “really bad” but it was less than half an hour.’

3V0015.1

3V0015.1 Sheldon Wagner proposes Meltzoff Experiment 2/6/78

Sheldon Wagner called with congratulations on Peggy’s birth today. During a long conversation, he asked if we would be willing to informally try an experiment on infant imitation which seriously refutes Piagetian theory (I found the reference in a back issue of Science: imitation of Facial and Manual Gestures by Human Neonates, Andrew Meltzoff and Keith Moore, 7 Oct. 1977.) Gretchen and I agreed to go ahead and do it. (This means we will do it very soon, maybe hard to get the videotape equipment and a mirror — maybe we shouldn’t get that fancy.)

3V0030.1

3V0030.01 Why we abandoned Meltzoff Experiment; Infant communication 2/21/78; 0;30

Gretchen and I agreed to do Meltzoff’s experiment as requested by Sheldon but later changed our minds. Upon a close reading, I decided the only valid replication of the experiment would require both videotape and the mirror in my office. The only practical way to effect the experiment would be to go to the Logo Lab and do it there. My scenario included a social call to introduce Peggy, perhaps with Sheldon helping in the experiment on the 13th.

This vision of the work was rapidly undercut (perhaps overlaid would be a better word) by the Blizzard of 1978. The 27 inches of snow, clogged courtyard, impassable streets, and driving ban kept us marooned in Brookline through the 14th. Indeed, on the 11th, our situation still looked difficult enough that Robby and I hiked the mile and ahalf to the Star market and back to get staples in preparation for a second storm predicted on Monday the 13th.

The other factor causing abandonment of the experiment was the inhibition its potential was introducing to our interactions with Peggy. Specifically, the problem was this. Gretchen knew the gestures used in the experiment, and having read the article also, knew the claim that the parents were unaware of them. That fact was the basis of excluding one explanation — that the gestures were not rehearsed by parents and baby outside the lab in any biased way. For Gretchen to avoid that sort of rehearsal, even unconsciously performed, would have meant her stifling her communication with Peggy. We both decided this was intolerable for the protracted period our snow bound isolation imposed. The major difficulty is that the parents’ dominant inclination is to establish a communication link with this child. This is attempted naturally by the parent through his imitation of the child’s facial gestures. Since the baby’s repertoire is quite limited, the gestures the parent isolates are those used by the Meltzoff experiment, i.e. any care provider for the baby, attempting to establish communication with the baby would be lead to imitating the baby’s gestures, I believe there is no way to prohibit this cycle of reinforcement though one may, as experimenter, chose to remain ignorant of it by refusing to inform the baby’s parents what is going on. Just because you don’t tell the parents what your experiment is, does not imply you can claim they have not biased it beforehand. This is especially the case where the process involved, adult-baby communication, is central to the social binding which must be established for baby’s to be deemed worth the trouble of caring for and enduring.

Not only Gretchen, but the children and even I, were imitating the baby’s gestures at every turn of our attention to her. By the middle of Peggy’s third week, i.e. the 15th, Gretchen was claiming that Peggy was really smiling at her. By the 20th, I was willing to concur. That is, Peggy was sufficiently socialized to be either responding to some non-obvious cues or to be attempting to manipulate the person holding her when recognized (she smiled at me also, but more often at Gretchen).

A final quibble: how did Meltzoff get those babies to take a pacifier so placidly, to have it popped in and out of their mouth without a considerable objection ? Were all bottle fed and expecting that sort of nipple ? Peggy absolutely refuses a pacifier, even one purportedly in the shape of the human when deformed by sucking. She would take it in her mouth a little, then spit it out after a few seconds. Was this procedure followed at some uniform time in each baby’s feeding cycle ?

A suggestion of Gretchen’s: the “imitation” of facial gestures may be at the same low level of mental processing as the contagion of yawning. (This is analogous to Seymour’s point raised by a discussion in the fall in one of Marvin’s classes when he spoke of unmediated communication between afferent and efferent systems — such is a reasonable perspective if one claims that one comes to build up perceptual recognition by projecting one’s own actions into the perceived situations.) Has anyone ever done adult experiments on the contagion of yawning under experimental situations comparably controlled as is Meltzoff’s ?

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

3V0125.1

3V0125.01 References for “Three Years and Talking” 05/27/78

In Thursday’s discussion with Mimi Sinclair, I showed her my “lifetime living plan,”. she asked about the work with Peggy, why I should wait until she’s four, I responded, “That’s what I want to talk with you about. She gave us directions (to me, the “us” refers to Gretchen and me) both for experimenting and reading. The reading references are 3. to Laguna and Leopold, for observational focus; and to Marcel Cohan for theoretical focus. We have settled on the following bases of data collection
1.) half hour videotapes every two weeks from 18 weeks to 104 weeks (4 to 24 months).
2.) naturalistic developmental observation with a rough frequency of written notes every two days.
the videotapes will have three sections: proto-conversations; action logic, and sibling play. The most exciting aspect of this project for me is that Gretchen will not merely be involved in it, but that it will be essentially her project. Beyond that, two other factors stand out.

First, I believe we will be asking the right questions: why does it take babies so long to learn to talk when they can do so much in action ?
Secondly, the data collection methodology and interpretation approaches which I have been developing in the Intimate Study seem appropriate with respect to the level of grain necessary to resolve the issue.

Not to pass unmentioned is that how a child learns language is one of the great, unresolved puzzles of our time and a major center of controversy.

Gretchen committed herself to the project yesterday and I spent the day gathering equipment and referenced books. Because Gretchen has no institutional affiliation and the project is not in any way grant supported, we will remain free to terminate it at any point if our best judgment requires that — this is an essential condition for research in the heart of the family. Robby and Miriam have agreed that it should be fun to play with Peggy in the experiment and both are eager to begin.

We will start on Monday, 5/29/78.

3V0125.3

3V0125.03 Expecting a TV game on a display (5/27/78)

Last Saturday (5/27), bob came back from Radio Shack with a TV game for the children. It has been attached to the TV in Miriam’s room. Since the weather over the weekend was quite warm, I occasionally fed Peggy in that room to enjoy the coolness produced by the air-conditioner. the children would at times be playing with the TV game. Tuesday afternoon, I took Peggy in there to nurse, and as I settled down in the chair, Peggy turned her head towards the TV (which was not on) to see if there was a game going.

3V0158.1

3V0158.01 We move back to Connecticut: major hiatus (6/29/78)

After Miriam was chased back on the school buys by the Gilligan’s dogs (and I was threatened by bared teeth by one of them) last Friday, we decided to move back to Connecticut. this implies we will have less time to play with Peggy and watch her for a couple weeks. A further problem is access to videotape equipment — unless I lay out the money to buy such equipment, I will have to drive to MIT to pick it up, back to Guilford to use it, back to MIT to return it and home again (that’s 4 x 150 = 600 miles /VT session.).

3V0337.1

3V0337.01 Christmas (12/25/78)

Peggy received a few presents today — some new, some hand-me-downs. she didn’t understand the opening of packages. Peggy chewed on her new rattle and dish, but most seemed to enjoy chewing on the box which contained the rattle. The tree with its hanging ornaments caught her attention most — especially the little red and yellow balls hanging by long strings from the lower boughs. Peggy could reach them when “standing”, i.e. upright and holding my chair with one hand, but found them tricky to grasp with their swinging in circle. The plastic cars of the model railroad also held some interest (perhaps because they rolled so well with wheels on the floor, but not otherwise).

3V0354.2

3V0354.02 Doctor Visit (1/11/79)

Peggy went to see Dr. Merman on the 2nd. He found her to be in good shape, but on the small side. At 17 lbs. 13 oz. and 28 inches, she is in the 10th percentile for weight and the 25th for height. Except for the first month, in which she gained 2 and a half pounds, Peggy has consistently gained more slowly than the other children. Dr. Mermann asked what she ate, and expressed concern that she might not be getting enough protein. He suggested we should try giving her milk from a bottle (in order to assure a pint daily) since she probably could not do that well drinking from a cup, and give her cereal twice a day, with meat and vegetables at lunch (perhaps pureed leftovers from the previous night). Eggs every other day, or even daily. What has happened since then ?

Cereal – based on nutritional information, Peggy normally eats 2-2.5 “servings” each morning, sometimes as many as three. This includes 1/3 – 1/2 pint of milk and supposedly provides 40% – 50% of recommended protein. The supplementary bottle was not a success – she chewed on the nipple but drank little or no milk. As for drinking from a cup, she can manage to swallow several tablespoons of liquid she likes, such as orange juice. she apparently is one of those breast fed babies who just don’t recognize cow’s milk. We are trying yogurt (apple crisp no – too highly flavored[Robby didn’t like it either] but plain grape she liked and ate almost the whole carton) and pudding (first taste of vanilla, so-so). She likes cheese (cheddar) and eggs (scrambled). All in all, she doesn’t seem too badly off. Once she gets a bit skillful with the cup (orange juice) we can try milk again by cup. Already she has picked up the cup herself and drunk from it after having been helped to drink. She is already showing signs of self-feeding. Mostly she uses her fingers, a messy job if the food is cereal or yogurt, frequently while waving a spoon in the other hand. When shown how to use the spoon, or even reminded verbally, she WILL take it and dip it in the food and even eat from it correctly but soon she returns to the familiar fingers. At dinner she is generally happy to have her dish with a little table food on it (rice, noodles, potato chunks, bits of meat, mashed vegetables) for her to work on herself; and at other times she apparently prefers to have her dish or whatever on her tray rather than on the table. Sometimes she fusses a bit or is reluctant to eat any more until the food is moved to within her reach.

3V0370.1

3V0370.01 A cold & Shampoo cocktail (1/27/79)

Peggy has shown signs of an oncoming cold for more than a day. A running nose, coughing, difficulty sleeping, a fever of 101 degrees this morning — but more trouble was coming. While alone in her crib, during nap time, she apparently reached out to the sink and captured a bottle of Baby Shampoo. Gretchen found it in the crib with the cap off. Peggy had bubbles around her mouth, but it wasn’t possible to tell how much, if any, shampoo she had drunk. The cap was missing; Gretchen was first fearful that Peggy had swallowed it and was quite relieved to find it in a corner, under Miriam’s bed. The pediatrician speculated that Peggy had not drunk much shampoo and that if she had it would not have poisoned her — but since the label warned to keep it from children and we had some ipecac available, she recommended we induce vomiting as a cautious response. Poor baby.

1/28/79 – There appears to be no obvious consequences from Peggy’s trial of yesterday. Her voice is gone – or what there is, is hoarse, but her spirits are definitely improved and her temperature is normal again.

3V0371.1

3V0371.01 Three words: “I want that”. A well formed English sentence; progressive structuration 1/28/79

THREE WORDS — When Peggy has requested this or that, a common response has been the question “You want that?” If we see her smile when we are pointing to a specific object, we give it to her. Today at lunch, trying to communicate to her obtuse parents that she wanted a cookie, Peggy pointed to the counter where they are normally kept (through a table full of other possible desiderata) and repeated with pointed and increasing insistence /ae/aen/∂aet/, the central syllable at a rising tone and stressed.

RELEVANCE — Peggy now owns three verbal forms for saying the same thing. /∂aet/, /hae/∂aet/, and /ae/aen/∂aet/. She uses them to express her desire for some object to other people. She knows, and expects others to know, that these signifiers express her desire. She knows what they are FOR; and she uses them interchangeably — the distinction of impute to her usage (to the extent they are not absolutely interchangeable) is that the more sounds she says, the more emphatic is the pronouncement.

We hear three words in what Peggy utters. I make no claim or implication that Peggy understands words at all. However, what is most striking in this last phrase is that Peggy has uttered (albeit inarticulately) a well formed English sentence with terms for subject, verb, and object. Of course, she does not know THAT. The next development to be expected is her conjunction of naming with this primitive verbal object (to which she relates much as we adults to an unanalyzed idiom), probably in some such sequence as the following (based on the use of naming for further specification and the deletion of the “unnecessary” pronoun /∂aet/.
/object-name/…/ae/aen/∂aet/object-name/…–>> /ae/aen/∂aet/object-name/
/ae/aen/∂aet/object-name/…–>> /ae/aen/object-name/
i.e. the development of structure is progressive discrimination, conjunction, and simplification.

3V0374.1

3V0374.01 Bad cold; general comments late in January 1979; (nominal date 1/31/79 added)

Late January — a bad cold. Peggy has been sick for a week and more. vomiting, diarrhea, a low fever, her cries even had to make do with a hoarse little voice. she slept a lot. Videotape session P53 fell under the cloud of Peggy’s cold. The pediatricians advised in several calls that they could do nothing to help her; both she and we had to bear her symptoms.

After the vomiting went on for a few days, it occurred to me that Peggy might also be allergic to some of her foods. She had begun, with the cold, drinking large quantities of orange juice. We stopped offering her that juice and her vomiting ceased. (This may, of course, be no more than a coincidence.)

Peggy’s voice came back by Saturday, 2/3, but she still seems to be needing longer naps than we had become accustomed to. Session P5 (2/5/79) was also a short one (note P54 is split on two tapes: P53 and TIS 76).

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.

3V0454.1

3V0454.01 Functional Classification: hairbrush, handkerchief; too far (4/21/79)

It’s clear that Peggy knows what certain things are “for.” The first clear
example was her use of a hairbrush. The second and most pervasive,
was (and continues to be) her use of “handkerchiefs.” She and I have
played much with hankies — they are the main prop in the “wooba
wooba” game and continues to be Peggy’s most favorite object for
picking out of my shirt pockets. At this time, Peggy began to retrieve a
hanky from my pocket then bring to her nose and wipe it across or
press it against her face. Subsequently, she would wipe my nose with
the hanky (this sort of play was captured in videotape near the time of
its beginning.)

Since late April, Peggy has extended her functional definition of hanky
to include anything that can be so used. For example, Peggy takes the
tea towel off the handle of the refrigerator door and so uses it.
Similarly with a damp face cloth — after wiping her hands and face, we
have had the damp cloth taken away (by her). Peggy then used it for
“blowing her nose.”

3V0484.1

3V0484.01 Observation Hiatus while thesis completed. (5/21/79)

Completing my thesis on time for this semester’s graduation has been a
primary disaster for the natural observations of Peggy’s development.
I regret this lost material profoundly, and fear that it is from the period
of development which would have been most illuminating about
subsequent appearances of order in Peggy’s speech and more general
problem solving.

(later note: most of the observations from early April through this date
are reconstructions, based on a list of events jotted down on a
chalkboard in my study.)

3V0485.4

3V0485.04 Action Imitation — Helpful Peggy (5/22/79)

Last Thursday or Friday I was washing windows using the Ritz cloth then
wiping down with an old linen dishtowel. Peggy noticed what I was
doing, and while I was working on the sliding glass doors downstairs,
she disappeared for a moment and returned with the dish towel that
she found hanging from the refrigerator door. She had it bunched up
and was making ‘wiping’ motions in the air.

3V0492.1

3V0492.01 New Car Seat Opens up Peggy’s World (5/29/79)

Ever since the children got some real bargains at a tag sale last summer,
they have been followers of local tag sales. They take whatever cash they
can scrape up and spend it all, giving away their loot in case they can
not imagine a use for it and to justify the spending. Miriam bought
Peggy a crib toy and Robby bought her a set of little wheeled racing
animals some days ago. The next day, Miriam recalled seeing on sale
for $5. a car seat, which we need now that Peggy has outgrown her
infant seat. Gretchen purchased and I repaired the new car seat for
Peggy. A small thing this seems to be, but it has changed Peggy’s access
to the world significantly.

No longer does Peggy ride in a car facing backwards and below the level
of the window sill. She sits up, facing forward and looks out on the
world. Peggy has enjoyed coming outside to ride in her swing, play in
the sand box, or just walk about, say up the driveway to where Scurry
is tied. She has complained when brought in. But now her complaints
are getting more vehement. She even gestures inside, that she wants to
go outside. She has been so eager to go for rides that later on (June
4th) she rode all the way to Boston and back the next day without any
significant fussing.

Importance: This simple furniture addition, the new car seat, has
opened wider Peggy’s access to the world. When she goes shopping
with Gretchen, now she can see variety in the world about her as she
moves through it.

3V0495.1

3V0495.01 Spills: Peggy mopping them up (6/1/79)

Spills, of course, are common with Peggy. Today she got some milk on
the floor. Somehow she got a towel (probably a regular cloth one from
the refrigerator door handle) and mopped at the spills on the floor.
We gave her a paper towel to work with. thereafter, when there are
spills, or she pours her milk out on her tray, we hand Peggy a paper
towel and let her mop it up. She does so, quite well. Gretchen.

3V0498.1

3V0498.01 In Boston for MIT graduation (6/04-5/79)

This was our trip to Boston for Bob’s graduation from MIT. We all got
up at 5 am, to drive to Boston by 9. Peggy was left at the child care
service in McCormack Hall while the rest of us went to Killian Court.
She behaved very well, although she did appear astonished by all the
other children there who were crying and carrying on. I gave her a
couple of little toys to play with and left her. Three and a half hours
later, when I returned, she was walking around the cribs which blocked
the doorway. When she saw me entering, she gave me a big welcoming
smile. Her “sitter” told me she had been very good and had not cried
at all. We returned to Logo and after a short while had Robby and
Miriam’s graduation, followed by an ice cream cake, which Peggy
shared. Then the children and I drove over the Brookline, for Miriam
to play with Dara, for me to register at the motel, and for Robby to play
with Danny Moore.

Peggy and I returned to Logo until we all left to collect the other
children and pick up José and Laurie for dinner. By now it was 7 pm
and Peggy was both hungry and tired, having had only a bit of cereal,
some ice cream, and water all day; and no nap (probably). Laurie had a
banana which Peggy devoured while he got his car, as ours would not
hold all of us comfortably. We went to Demos where Peggy got to sit
on a rolling high chair. During dinner she drank two containers of milk
(using a small restaurant glass) and had some rice, some flat bread,
and perhaps some lamb. towards the end, she began to get restless,
and Miriam walked her around (both on foot and in the high chair).
when we drove back to the motel, Miriam had to hold Peggy in the
front seat because Robby had fallen asleep in the back. once there, I
changed Peggy, put her in a nightgown and tried to persuade her to lie
down in the port-a-crib and go to sleep. Despite the fact that she had
been nodding and dozing in the car, Peggy would not settle down; she
stood in the crib and cried loudly. bob and I left to have a beer with
José and Laurie; when we returned an hour later, all was quiet. Miriam
said she had changed Peggy again and after that Peggy was willing to lie
down. The next morning, the children waked up around seven. Bob
and Miriam went to MIT by trolley, while Robby and I packed up and
checked out. We went up Beacon street to the barber’s. First, Robby
had his hair cut (while I went to the Star and got milk and cookies).
Then Peggy had her hair cut, sitting in my lap. she wriggled and
screamed the whole time (this had never happened to her before,
getting a haircut), so the result was a trifle uneven. she absolutely
would not permit the barber to use the trimmers on her neck. While I
had my hair cut. she stood nearby and cried. We then went to Logo,
and hung around until mid-afternoon. By lunchtime Peggy was
obviously tired, so we took the sleeping bag out of the car. She could
not be persuaded simply to lie down on it, so I sat down and held her,
first in my lap, then gradually as she shifted around to get comfortable,
onto the sleeping bag with her head pillowed on my knee. She was so
tired that she could not keep sucking her fingers. as her eyes closed,
her hand slid out of her mouth and I could see her tongue still making
sucking motions, like a very young baby. After a couple of false starts
she fell asleep and I was able to get myself out from under her head
and leave her to nap for an hour or so. she was awake again before we
left Logo around 3:30. During the ride home she played with some
empty soda cans, and also developed a game with me. She would push
on my back, forcing me to bend forward; then she would reach under
my arm and pull me back upright again, over and over. (This is a
variant of a game she plays on the bed, sitting in my lap facing me and
pushing me down to a reclining position. I sit up and she pushes me
back down.) Some time during the day, Peggy wanted me to name
things for her. She went systematically and repeatedly over my face,
pointing at my features and inquiring “that” — we did mouth, nose,
eyes, glasses, cheek, chin, and ears. Gretchen.

3V0516.1

3V0516.01 Naming cars; relation of teaching and exploration (6/22/79)

Riding Back from graduation at MIT, Peggy frequently pointed at trucks
passing in the opposite direction with her squeals of delight. We
named them for [her] “truck,” “van.” We all over subsequent days
continued this on local trips where the distinction was often made
between trucks and cars (the latter seen more frequently). This
gradually became passé.

Today, Peggy sat in her car seat, nobody paying any particular
attention. As we passed any car either on the road or parked, she
would point and say /ka/, once for each vehicle.

Relevance — This incident touches upon the problem of language use by
others, learning to recognize and associate specific sounds and
objects, and then the appearance [of] those sounds as labels in speech
production. This case shows a lag of several weeks from the beginning
of the social instruction, its becoming boring to the ‘teachers.’ The
drop in interest by others perhaps inspired Peggy to extend herself
from recognizing correspondences to producing them herself. The
slight ‘vacuum’ gave her room and motive (?) to expand her
performance. If this be a typical pattern, it implies that the best
procedure for investigating Peggy’s growing knowledge and
competence — (best for bringing it out in explicit, public behavior) —
is to cut off any verbal prompting, letting the pragmatics of the
situation call forth whatever she is capable of.

Could this be the method of “natural instruction” — and an explicit
model for education. [marginal note, partly missing: …sensitive…this
sort of instruction]

3V0522.1

3V0522.01 Tirades disappeared; “comments” instead (6/28/79)

What happened to the ‘tirades’ and recording of them? The attempt at
recording failed because they dropped out of Peggy’s behavior —
rather, they took a reduced form which is more appropriate to call
“comments.” The characteristic of a comment is its length — typically
two or three sentences (as judged [by] patterns of prosody) — and its
relation to pragmatics. Most commonly, Peggy seems to be talking
about what she is doing (as in the “discussion” of bean bags noted
subsequently). It is possible that Peggy tries to talk about things she
wants, but I have no clear examples for reference (we should look for
this sort of occasion; its non-occurrence would also be interesting).
We have been able to record a few samples of “comments” on audio
tape. There are also significant examples of this in videotapes P74 and
P75.

3V0541.1

3V0541.01 Scars: scrape on floor analogous to scar on her own body.
Comprehension evidence for “what’s that?” Explaining. (7/17/79)

Raising beams for the living room ceiling led to a lot of furniture
moving. At one point, a pebble caught under the couch, scraped across
the floor and left a wide (1/4″) and long (14″) scar in the oak flooring.
When the work was finished and the area cleaned, Peggy came in to
play. Eventually the scar caught her interest. She pointed to it (for her
own edification only; there were no [THAT] requests for names or
whatever) and made her noises of interest (/au/u/u/?)

While she was pointing, I asked, “What’s that, Peggy?” She pointed. I
asked again, “What’s that?” Peggy pointed again and mumbled some
uninterpretable utterance. Once more I asked and she responded by
grasping her foot and pointing to the scar on her toe where I recently
removed a splinter.

3V0544.1

3V0544.01 “reading” Scientific American: 07/20/79

Since Miriam offered to “read the book” (Madeline), Peggy has pestered
us to read to her. The selection is surprising. Today she came
careening through the gallery pass-way waving a Scientific American
and saying distinctly (to herself — she was nowhere near me yet)
[read].

We did, after lunch, “read” that magazine. We would turn pages and
make noises of amazement at the pictures. Peggy returned repeatedly
to pictures of things she could recognize, e.g. cars. The objects
dominating advertisements were cars, cameras, and alcohol (whiskey,
gin, etc.). They got most of her attention, but she also examined
diagrams and drawings supporting text articles.

I got tired of this exercise and directed our attention to Miriam’s
illustrated tales of Peter Rabbit. Peggy was interested in the drawings,
but not so clearly so much as in the photographs of recognizable
objects, such as the cars.

3V0545.1

3V0545.01 VERBAL LABELS: 07/21/79;

Peggy frequently points to or touches things saying “that” with an
intonation not signifying interrogation. I would say she uses the
standard declarative intonation except that it might imply an intention
— but that is precisely what we don’t know. Does she mean “Look at
that” ? “I recognize that” ? “What’s that ?” My uncertainty has led me
to rebound a question back at her: “what’s that ?” Her typical response,
for example when reading Scientific American and asked about a car, is
to locate and point to another instance of the thing, thus:

P: [pointing at car picture] That
B: What’s that ?
P: [flipping pages till she finds another picture of a car] That |

Does Peggy know that the word “car” ? Surely. But she prefers to
answer “what’s that?” by finding another instance in what she considers the same class.
Does Peggy use verbal labels to say what a thing is ? Yes, as this example makes clear.
The Hunt family lives adjacent to the beach on White Birch Lane. They
have cats and the cats have kittens — there have been as many as 30 at
one time in the house. Thus cats come down to the beach. They amaze
and delight Peggy. She has been told they are “cats”. Back at our house
we have no cats (Miriam’s allergies) and very few pictures of them.
Peggy sometimes uses a hand-me-down cup of Miriam’s with a three
kitten picture on it. She brought it to me for filling. I poured in juice.
Peggy pointed to one of the cats in the picture and said [cat] clearly and
definitely.

IMPORTANCE
We can see the process of specifying what a thing is as relating it to
another exemplar of the same class. The verbal label is used as a
substitute specifying-exemplar when no object specifying-exemplar is
available.
An alternative interpretation that fits the observation: the label is used
in referring to a memory of a specifying-exemplar based on personal
experience (since that memory, though present, is essentially private, it
MUST be indicated indirectly). Thus Peggy specifies what the cat-on-
the-cup IS by locating another exemplar, her memory of the specific,
black, skinny cat she had petted earlier that day at the beach. The
function of the name is communicative (and serves others desires such
as confirming that the kitten-on-the-cup is properly identified)
precisely as is the more public procedure of locating another object
specifying exemplar.

3V0556.1

3V0556.01 Toothbrush: 08/01/79;

Playing on my bed, looking at the older children’s pictures, Peggy saw
my ‘traveling’ toothbrush on the adjacent dresser top. “Have that, have
that” was her cry and I did not stop her from taking it.

Peggy picked up the toothbrush by the handle, examined the bristles,
then tentatively opened her mouth and put the brush sideways on her
tongue. (This mouth insertion was definitely NOT the lip-exploration-
mouthing Peggy usually applies to objects.) When she looked at me, I
laughed, ‘that’s right, Peggy.” She moved the brush a little in her
mouth then brought it out, rubbing the bristles once against her
stomach; she then replaced the toothbrush on the dresser.

Peggy did NOT confuse this brush with any hairbrush (though she is
used to some small ones). The children have not given Peggy any
instruction or practice in brushing teeth. Gretchen and I have not done
so. This is clearly a case of function definition of a specific object
based on observation. (This should not surprise us. Peggy obtrudes into
bathrooms whenever she can to watch people do strange things where
she has nothing to do but rip toilet paper off the roll.)

3V0566.1

3V0566.01 Twirling : 08/11/79;

Peggy enjoys “dancing” whenever I play a recording of fast music. To
her basic step — a bobbing at the knees (with feet firmly planted)
conjoined with a waving of arms — Peggy has now added a second,
turning in place. I can’t document the source of this twirling, but I
suspect it imitates the spinning dizzy game Robby and Miriam have
long played.

3V0573.2

3V0573.02 Enriched Phrases : 08/18/79;

Peggy has long said [have that] meaning either [(you) have that] or [(I
want to) have that] as the pragmatic context makes sufficiently clear.
In a typical scenario today, Peggy was unnecessarily specific in her
utterance, thus. Peggy frequently plunks some object (a book or toy) in
one’s lap, says “have that” and indicates her desire to lap-sit. Today
she placed a doll in my lap and said /***/. When I asked “Who have the
doll?” she responded [get up], and coming around my knee, made
clear it was she who should “get up.”

Relevance: Peggy here strung together two utterances which we would
recognize as ‘phrases.’ [have doll] was unnecessarily specific. I
interpret its use as a sure sign that the utterance “have that” has
become a two-element phrase with one variable. Contrast “get up” with
the contrary “get down” (Peggy interprets both adequately) which may
be more easily conceived as two related idioms with a common
utterance core (/***/), whose commonality may be more accidental
than meaningful (as perceived by the child).

3V0587.1

3V0587.01 /cul’/du/vae/vae’/: CENTRAL INCIDENT;
major insight ascribed on basis of incident. 9/1/79

Over the past several weeks, our house has suffered a greater than
usual density and flux of Tintin cartoon books. As do the older kids,
Peggy enjoys them. She brings a magazine, says /aen//aen/ and
convinces one to hold her in his lap while she turns the pages and
points to various figures with little squeals of delight. Her favorite
character is “Snowy”, the little white dog and Tintin’s persistent
companion. When she points to the dog, we tell her it’s “Snowy”, but
Peggy has settled on her own term /cuhlduh/ (variously /cai/duh/ and
/cai/dae/ as her name for Snowy.

Now Peggy has in the past referred to our Scotty as [Scurry] (more or
less) and most recently used /vae/vae/ to refer to Scurry or some
distant barking dog. The point is that /vae/vae/ seems more related to
barking than to “dogginess” as such. One might think of her use
nominally as equivalent to “barker.” Therefore /cul/duh/ seemed
merely a new and different name for Snowy… but we were fooled, for
Peggy began to call Scurry /cul/duh/ and now does so regularly.

This evening, Peggy sat in my lap for a while. Scurry was waiting to be
taken out for her evening walk and Gretchen took the dog on her lap to
groom her a little. This is unusual and Peggy pointed at her /cul/duh/
(she said). Peggy got down, wandered off and behind my chair. The
dog began to growl on hearing a distant bark. Peg pointed at her
excitedly /vae/vae/, /vae/vae/. I responded in her tongue:
/cul/duh/vae/vae/, at which Peggy’s face lit up with a broad beaming
smile (so Gretchen notes and described it; I was looking the other way.)

Relevance: We both recognize this as an exciting moment of insight
into verbal communication for Peggy. She wanted to very much to
express her meaning “the dog barks”: but could not except by pointing
and saying /vae/vae/ simultaneously. My expression exemplified how
serial order expresses the subject-predicate relation in her vocabulary
and context. I judged then, and still hold (9/9/79), that this incident
marks the beginning of Peggy’s knowledge of generative syntax. That
is, here, Peggy learned how to assemble subject and predicate to
express a thought already formed, as distinct from expressing
idiomatically a thought “associable” with the idiom. I take this to be
one of the most important observations in this record.

3V0587.2

3V0587.02 [I threw it]:

Before the incident described above (in Vignette V0586A), Peggy,
Gretchen and I sat in the living room, Peggy playing with Gretchen’s
wallet. She picked it up and threw it across the room, under a chair. I
censured her “No, Peggy, no. Don’t do that.” She responded, talking to
herself it seems [I threw it]

The difficulty in interpreting this utterance is its lack of clarity (my
memory also). Was the vowel /o/ or /u/ ? or did I say “Don’t throw
things.” Did this really happen before the preceding incident or after it ?
Gretchen ? (no note made in response.)

3V0593.1

3V0593.01 [maemae take bath]: CENTRAL NOTE: first complex follow up to /cul’/du/vae/vae’/ 9/7/79

This morning, as Peggy and I played on the bed, Gretchen asked if I
were going to take a bath, and we agreed she should do so first. Peggy
played with her bear, picked up a book, called out “Mama !” and
received no direct answer — for at that moment Gretchen opened the
tap to draw her bath. Hearing the sound, Peggy turned to me and said
[Mama take bath].

Relevance: I consider this production extremely important as an
unquestionable example of a sentence generated as a comment on the
immediate context and growing out of Peggy’s concerns (ie. why didn’t
Gretchen answer). That is, I don’t see how this utterance could be a
fixed, memorized idiom. I interpret it to be a two element catenation,
MAMA and TAKE-BATH, both of which were independently meaningful
and recently salient in the ambience, i.e. Gretchen and I both referred
to taking baths and Peggy has just called out “Mama.”

Notice well that this simple catenation follows upon Peggy’s insight
(ascribed in the discussion of /cul/duh/vae/vae/; vignette V0586A)
that simple catenation expressed in the utterance conventions of
English the two aspects of agent and action. The insight has become an
element of structure used in production.

If my ascription of an insight to Peggy and witnessing its latter
application be accurately traced in these incidents — should not one
ask “Is it surprising that few have witnessed the critical developments
of language knowledge in the context and experience of infants and
prefer instead some alternative explanation.”

3V0615.1

3V0615.01 [bag gone]: hiding bag behind her; 9/29/79

Peggy playing “gone” with a bag, holding it behind her, and remarking
[bag gone]. Gretchen.

3V0622.1

3V0622.01 [mama got eye]: MAJOR NOTE on cognitive structures behind speech; topic and comment at “discourse” level, not a word level. 10/6/79

Gretchen long ago began instructing Peggy in the names of body parts,
especially of the face. Recently, Peggy has surprised me by making
comments about the commonality of the body parts. For example,
pointing to her eye, she says [eye], then she points to me and repeats
[eye], then to Gretchen and Scurry, saying [eye] in all cases. I take this
point cum word as equivalent to the assertion that each of us creatures
has an eye.

The behavior is not restricted to eyes or to animate things. Today, we
gave Peggy a toy Scotty, which she referred to as /kuhl/dae/ and now
carries everywhere with her. Investigating it, Peggy noted its nose, its
eyes; pointed also to Scurry and me and made similar “assertions.”

The clearest proof of the positive assertion is the denial of its negation.
Peggy rarely says “no”. She usually indicates disagreement or
frustration by crying. In one of her rounds of assertions about noses, I
pointed to my nose and said “eye.” Peggy denied it at once [no]. The
response is vague in its interpretation. Could she have meant “nose” ?
(I think not. She always says /noz/, but I will have to try this negation
again.

Sitting in my lap this evening before the fire, Peggy once again pointed
out owners of noses. She pointed to her nose and mine and then said
[mama got nose]. This is clearly a three word sentence. Is the order
standard by accident or necessity ?

The best indication of the real situation is shown by observing the more
extended context into which the locally coherent productions are
embedded. Today, comparing her toy Scotty and Scurry, Peggy went
through this sequence:
[culdae eye]
[eye (pointing at Gretchen)]
[Mama eye]

I have imposed order on these productions by putting brackets around
them… but those brackets are in my mind, not in Peggy’s. What is the
structure of this tirade in Peggy’s mind flux ? There is a clear assertion
that dogs have eyes. Then we infer the generalization that others have
eyes, as exemplified by Gretchen. The conclusion is the expression in
standard (agent/ copula/ property) of the instantiated generalization.

The structure of this utterance is thematically anchored, at the
discourse level. Sentence structure is derivative and secondary.

– – – –
Marginal notes (by Bob) made on 10/8/79:
I tried this (misnaming of body parts) with my ear. No clear result.
Peggy’s “ear” is not very well defined.
Peggy is much caught up with explicit specification of classes, e.g. all
things with noses. This gives thematic coherence to her discourses.
My ideas is that standard order derives from audiences recasting
speech into standard form at sentence level while Peggy’s focus is on
the discourse. She may take recasting, rephrasing as local corrections
to much approved discourse. Auditors do not notice they are
“correcting”, in their view they are just asking for confirmation of
their understanding.

3V0628.1

3V0628.01 [hurt…ham(mer?)]: instrumental case in presyntactic form 10/12/79

Working at completing the partition in Robby’s room, I set a chair
across the doorway to keep Peggy away from the tools and paint.
Having removed my shoes (paint on the bottom of one), I came out of
the room carrying a hammer. Stepping over the obstacles, I hit my toe
on it and limped in a stream of expletives to a chair where I sat down.
Peggy was solicitous [hurt ?…ham ?] — which I interpret to mean “did
you hurt yourself with the hammer ?” The sense of this sequence is
instrumental, as the context makes so clear.

3V0638.1

3V0638.01 Holophrase sequences: [goody…scurry…food…treat] see note below: # 289 10/22/79

Peggy knows where Scurry’s goodies are kept, and often asks to give
her one (frequently giving it a nibble herself in transit). She has always
called it /fu/ (“food”). Today, as I got Scurry’s heartworm pill from
the shelf above, Peggy pointed up and said /guh/di (goodie)…/kur/di/
(Scurry)…/fu/ (food)…/trit/ (treat). This is, I think, the first time I
have heard her give a multiple identification of something, using
different words to apply to the same object. (The “cup”…”owl” seems
more like “mama…eye”, a description of an attribute rather than an
alternate definition.) Gretchen.

3V0664.1

3V0664.01 Important observation and speculation: hiatus in holophrastic period as structure transition indicator; its disappearance indicates a new level of organization (11/17/79)

[following write-up of [bear come peggy] incident —
This last incident contrasts with what has been Peggy’s normal usage in
situations of accompaniment. It has been typical that when Peggy saw
some action or heard some statement she interpreted and wanted to
apply to her, she would say quickly and assertively, “Too !” This has
force like the common interjection, “Me too !”

What has been most striking to me about Peggy’s speech during this
time while dominated by single words is the tempo of extended
dialogues. The typical situation is that Peggy says one word — and
after a second long pause — says another. I am noting that I have
observed more constancy of rate than of function. I find this
interesting mainly in that it reinforces the vision of words as top-level
elements of semantically rich supportive structures frame- transition
mechanism – with one word salient in each activated frame.

We don’t know, of course, what one “word” is — the better, more
general term would be idiom…. but that, while it might be more
accurate would not express the obvious point that Peggy’s locutions are
so limited in general that she mostly says “words.”

3V0666.1

3V0666.01 [bear come Peggy]: near sentence example. (11/9/79)

She got away from us — up the stairs where the older children were
while Gretchen and I were in the living room. When I realized she was
gone, I raced to the stairwell and found Peggy at the top, coming down
one step at a time, in the sitting position, dragging her bear along. I
was worried, told her to put the bear down and she replied, “bear come
Peggy.” I watched her closely as she continued down.

3V0668.1

3V0668.01 Answering questions: she interprets query as request for more information but does not interpret specific elements, for example
“who” or “what”. (11/21/79)

Peggy interprets questions as requests for information — more
specificity — in what she has said. but she does not distinguish roles of
elements in a sentence as related to the specific queries, such as
“who?” or “What?” Today, sitting in my lap, she dropped a comb on the
floor and said “drop.” No answer to “who?” But when I asked “who
drop?” Peggy replied, “comb.”

She was interpreting my query — when it specifically related to her
previous utterance by repetition of “drop” as meaning the more
sensible of two questions:
1. “who dropped the whatever ?” (this is a stupid question: she was
sitting in my lap and I didn’t drop it.)
2. “Whatever was it you dropped.?” (a sensible query.)

3V0670.1

3V0670.01 UP & DOWN: symmetrical relations; very IMPORTANT DATA on word-thing relations: she relates words and their structures of meaning
through reversibility as actions. (11/23/79)

Peggy wandered into the living room today with her “Bear Hug” in hand.
She held it high “Up” and put it on the ground “Down.” She repeated
this exercise several times — interrupting it once, I believe, with a hug
accompanied thus “hug”. Peggy was plainly excited by her knowledge,
and she was demonstrating it to me.

What do I make of this ? Here she was relating two words and their
structures of meaning through the reversibility as actions. She brought
together vaguely related terms into a specific relations of antithesis — a
primary kind of specific relations. This shows the level at which
Peggy’s mind is now progressively integrating.

3V0674.1

3V0674.01 COUNTING (carrying two cookies) [one, two, seven]
ONE, TWO, SEVEN (11/27/79)

Peggy came into the study (living room) with cookies in hand (one
each) and said to me “two”. She continued beyond me, saying, “One,
two, seven”. [FOOTNOTE: Later note on date written up: 12/6 This
evening, I asked Miriam is she had been teaching Peggy to count
(which Miriam denies) after Peggy’s “funny counting”, as “one, four, ten”]

Peggy clearly has learned several number names – perhaps from
watching Sesame street on TV. But her organization of the knowledge
is quite non-standard. Her construction of the number names goes not
much further than “one, two, three and other bigger numbers”.

3V0683.1

3V0683.01 CHIN: word learning and private review in play. (12/6-7/79)

Peggy found an old doll of Gretchen’s in the basement. She brought it
to Miriam (who was sitting in my lap) and me and began pointing to
and naming what struck her — the dress, the hair, face parts — eyes,
nose. I realized that Peggy didn’t know the word “chin” and asked her
to point to it. When she pointed to the nose, Miriam corrected her
“That’s the nose, Peggy. where’s the chin ?” Peggy continued pointing
at the doll’s head – looking at Miriam – while she gradually moved her
hand around, past the face, to the back of the head. We showed her
the doll’s chin, and she repeated the name.

This morning, alone in the study when I came in and saw her, Peggy
played at her toy box and, when she picked up the doll, pointed to the
chin and named it.

3V0683.2

3V0683.02 Kicking and hurt feelings. (12/6/79 and earlier)

Peggy’s control over her supports, her legs, has been of apparent and
considerable interest to her, I recall her joy at being able to jump with
both feet when first she could and, most recently (12/20 ff.), her
tapping with one foot to music while standing [this has been an obvious
effort on which she concentrated, i.e. she would look at her foot while
doing it, whenever her cries of “Morning Dew” got us to play a
recording]. Early in December, Peggy worked at kicking – which got her
in trouble. Her kicking was dangerous because her target was most
commonly Scurry’s neck I feared that as Peggy became more skillful
she would hurt Scurry and get bitten. Thus Peggy’s kicking me was an
opportunity. She ran up to me and said “kick” and kicked me in the
shin. When she did it a second time, I smacked her bottom.

Peggy was shocked and her feelings were hurt. She clasped both hands
to her eyes, hiding the entire upper portion of her face while tears
streamed down, and went off to a dark corner. Thus her typical
response when refused or censured. It’s funny because he reaction is
most extreme to an often inconsequential rejection, but it’s also
touching that the smallest refusal is taken as a personal rejection.

3V0686.1

3V0686.01 [gone…bird] Formulation: pre-sentences as further verbal specification of a well worked out scenario of action (along with infant’s gradually increasing sense of what else it might have meant). (12/4/79)

Peggy has been playing her “gone” joke or game (cf. ???) for sometime.
Frequently when she says gone, I ask “What’s gone?” Today, while
[playing with a wind-up hopping toy bird “Woodstock,” Peggy thrust
the toy behind her back and said “gone…bird.” The latter word
following the former with a missed beat (a half second or so). I
consider this an important example of how Peggy is beginning to
assemble complex proto-phrases. Note well that they are syntactically
irregular and proceed as further verbal specification of a well worked
out scenario of action.

3V0690.1

3V0690.01 Harp and Guitar: naming shows assimilation of a new object to a familiar schema with spontaneous naming, social differentiation of relations, and her locking in the relationship. (12/13/79)

We were all watching the Marx Brothers movie “Monkey Business.”
(Note also that bob Despain recently gave Miriam an old Guitar of his.)
At one point, Harpo played a harp and Peggy said, “Guitar.” Gretchen
said, “No, Peggy, that’s a harp.” I continued, “That’s O.K., Peggy; it’s a
kind of guitar.” Peggy concluded definitely, ” ‘tar.”

Peggy’s naming reflect her assimilation of a new object to a familiar
scheme with spontaneous naming, social differentiation of the new
object from the old, recognition of their relations, and her “locking in”
the relationship. She has done this with other objects as well, but the
examples escape me now.

3V0697.1

3V0697.01 [nice bear]: feeling is first ! good example for raising issues in the further-specification model. (12/20/79)

Peggy has been using the term “nice” very frequently both as an
expression of her feeling about something and her request for
concurrence. For example, in P99 or P98, after drawing on a piece of
paper, she asked “Nice?” and I agreed.

This evening she brought her bear to the bench of our picnic table and
said, “Nice.” Lifting her bear onto the bench and said “Nice…bear.”
(The pause between the adjective and noun is uncertain.”

“Nice bear” looks like a standard English phrase (as written), but is it?
I believe the anchor of the phrase is the primary thing, “nice” – with the
subsequent term “bear” appearing as the further specification of what
that feeling attaches to.

3V0704.1

3V0704.01 Playing the piano. (12/27/79)

Often since her early infancy, Peggy would come to me while I sat at the
piano and ask to come up with me. It has been my practice to then
play “chopsticks” with the middle range of the piano free for Peggy’s
playing with me. I have shaped her playing and applauded her striking
of the keys. Peggy is very much at home with the piano now, clambers
up onto the bench by herself and strikes the keys with enjoyment.
Exposed to much popular music, just about all of it Irish folk songs and
contemporary instrumentals (Chieftains et al.) and joined in dancing by
her sister and me, Peggy has had an unusually rich and accessible
musical education for an infant, as compared to her brother and sister.

3V0706.1

3V0706.01 Knock knock jokes: story used in ACR chapter of CECD. (12/29/79)

Jokes have been much in the air lately. I’ve worked on OCL: Inventing
Jokes. Miriam made me a joke book as a Christmas present. Peggy has
begun telling knock-knock jokes, apparently in imitation (without
instruction):
Peggy: knock-knock ?
Victim: Who’s there ?
Peggy: 1. big smile and laugh – no words
Peggy: 2. knock knock ?
In this joke, it is clear that Peggy expects
a “who’s that?” [there ?]
response and enjoys the protocol.

What will she do if someone say another response to “knock-knock? ”
Dunno. But trying that may help us interpret whatever response she
makes to ungrammatical sentences.

3V0706.3

3V0706.03 [fork!…for-me]: example of bound preposition (12/29/79)

Peggy sat in her high chair. Miriam had made an open faced cheese
sandwich and given two pieces to Peggy. It is our custom to eat such
fare with our fingers. Peggy had put her fork on the table beyond
immediate reach.

Other of us ate food with a fork. Peggy began, “Fork ?…Fork?”, a
request to give her one. I said, “No, Peggy, you don’t need a fork. Eat it
with your fingers.” Peggy, nearly crying, said, “Fork? Fork?…for-me?”
This prepositional usage may be tightly bound to the pronoun as an
idiomatic form. How can we tell ?

3V0707.1

3V0707.01 Color names: beginning of a long story. (12/30/79)

Peggy wears plastic pants over her diapers. Most are transparent. One
pair is pink and she prefers that pair. While changing her recently,
Gretchen began putting on a pair of transparent pants. Peggy cried
plaintively, “Black, black” while pointing in the direction of the pink
pants she had seen before. I interpreted this as the use of a color name
for reference — but her word could have been a corrupt pronunciation
of ‘plastic’.

3V0709.2

3V0709.02 [Mimi did it…Peggy’s] Good example; issues important; developing a vocabulary to describe observed phenomena. (1/1/80)

The situation to which the locution applies was Miriam’s making a
wrapped package, a present, and giving it to Peg. Peggy brought it to
me to show. what is significant here is the pause/connected structure
of the phrasing. There was a pause (represented by dots) between the
phrases. “did-it” I consider a single verbal element of specific meaning.
So also is “Mimi.” therefore, this phrase has a two element structure.
We need to develop and use a vocabulary to describe the phenomena
we become sensitive to. We need names for:
– the pauses between expressions in Peggy’s speech.
– the phenomenon of the deletion of that pause from speech (will others also discover, observe this ? a critical test.)
– a name for the meaning units clustered/bracketed by pauses but not identified with “words”
– the process(es) of mental reconstruction by which labels becomes nodes of a control structure elevation (here, in embryo, is my theory of language in the mind)

3V0714.1

3V0714.01 [own stool… on it] Example of two loosely joined tight substructures: needed descriptions of cross level tightness of binding. (1/6/80)

Miriam cooked soup at the stove and Peggy wanted to see. Miriam
offered the use of her small red stool, one of two. Peggy chose to get
the second, put it next to Miriam, and climb up, speaking as she did,
“Own stool…. on it.”