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Archive with last of tag-string Q11

3V0914.1

3V0914.01 Pouring: example of an action looking for objects (7/24/80)

Peggy has been fascinated with pouring for weeks, or even months.
Sometimes she will ask for some juice just to be able to pour it back
and forth. She likes to use my dining chair as a word bench for this
and I frequently find it awash in milk, orange juice, lemonade, ginger
ale, root beer, or tonic. Tonight, I found her in the bathroom, pouring
Miriam’s slophyllin capsules from one container to another.

3V0916.1

3V0916.01 Commitment to an interpretation: [go pick the lady grass.](7/26/80)

Miriam has been given the job of picking grass out of the driveway and
she resists it mightily. I recently scolded her and told her to go pick
out every blade of grass at the turn (the grass had slowed drainage and
caused some flooding). Peggy added her weight to my command,
“Mimi, go pick the lady grass.” Surprised, I said “Lady grass?” Are you
sure ? Couldn’t it be man grass ?” Peggy proclaimed her certainty, “No.
It’s lady grass.”

3V0918.2

3V0918.02 Self-classification: “I daughter.” (7/28/80)

Peggy confided to me thus that she was a daughter, sitting in my lap.
Over the next few days, she refined that self classification. Mimi is the
big daughter. Peggy is my little daughter.

3V0924.2

3V0924.02 Watching Videotapes: single letters as name symbols (8/3/80)

Last night Gretchen and I reviewed four videotapes (weeks 26, 52, 78,
and 104). Peggy was in and out during this two hours of viewing (she
was alternately watching an hour long Disney show on the basement TV).

One question of interest to me was what Peggy made of these “other
children.” At 26 weeks, the tape began with a scene of me playing with
her in my lap. I asked Peggy who was the baby. She answered “My own
Peggy.” During the tape at 104 weeks, Peggy entered at a point when
she had been playing with her box of standard objects and noted,
“That’s me. doing a ‘periment.” The actor of the two intermediate
tapes went unrecognized. Her best speculation was that the other
toddler was “my best friend” — which is how she has often referred to
her coeval cousin, Matthew, met and played with in cherry Hill for one
afternoon.

As we looked at one of the tape section headers Peggy/AT NN/WEEKS
Peggy declared “That says Peggy.” I asked “Where?”
“Up there,” she said, “and down there it says ‘Gurry.” I asked her to
come to the TV and point where it said Peggy. She pointed to the letter
‘P’, and where does it say ‘Scurry’?” Peggy pointed, as I had expected,
to the letter ‘S’ of “WEEKS.” This observation confirms Peggy’s
interpretation of individual letters as representatives of names of
family (members).

3V0929.1

3V0929.01 Language Rules used to construct new forms (8/8+/80)

Peggy is clearly constructing verbal forms by rules. Two sorts are now witnessed:
verb tense (past – even if her use be aspectual) and
pluralization rules.
Spontaneously, she produced BREAKED (8/8). BOOKSES (8/9),
GORILLASES (8/13), and DUCKSES (8/13).

3V0931.1

3V0931.01 Generalization; logical thinking accidentally wrong: pennies and
quarters. (8/10/80)

Peggy came running around the table. “Somebody left these pennies
and quarters on the table,” she exclaimed as she handed them to me.
There were two pennies and, folded up, two dollar bills. So Peggy
knows two coin names and knows that both coins and specie can be
money. she has (as frequently witnessed in reference to coins) applied
“penny” as a label for any coin. she has chosen to apply “quarter” as a
different money name to another kind of money, i.e. currency.
Beautiful thinking, accidentally wrong.

The interesting problem this highlights is that the processes of
generalization and specification are much more complex than attaching
labels at the right description level and then extending them. There are
problems of shifting labels as classification refinements are developed.

3V0932.1

3V0932.01 Reading aloud to herself: characterization; French also (8/11/80)

Peggy has often read aloud to herself, does not feel self-conscious
about doing so (But is reluctant to read to ME as witness on P134).
Her reading procedure seems to call upon two sources of information.
The main (at least dominant) one is the picture accompanying the text.
Her reading is a description of what the picture represents — as she
interprets it, (Thus, asking her to read pictures could be a useful
experimental task to prove her procedures of inference). The second
source is specific recall of past readings by others. this is witness
by her reading correctly individual words of the text [outstanding
example: Woo-oof on p. 12 of Angus and the Cat by Marjory Flack,
Doubleday]. The book Peggy has read most frequently is Richard
Scary’s Great Big Schoolhouse.

Peggy’s style of reading has some surprising consequences. She sat on
the floor a few days ago (8/9/80) and pointing to the text on a page
said, “This says ‘kitty’.” The book was in French. When I said, “I didn’t
know you could read French, ” Peggy replied, “I read French.”

3V0938.1

3V0938.01 My-best-friend: early phrases as unstructured idioms; early variations:
(8/17/80)

How many words is this utterance ? How fluid or viscous are the
relations of parts and the whole ? Playing down at Jacob’s Beach, Peggy
used this phrase to refer to ANY child she met there of her size. (She
has originally used it to refer to her cousin Matthew, met once only but
of her size. Miriam’s best friend, Clare, is of her [Miriam’s] size. We
can speculate that to Peggy, this phrase was a uniform phrase of no
internal structure.

The first variablization of this phrase was most natural, but one which
doesn’t permit us to distinguish specifically its extended direction.
Peggy and I were discussing Scurry and noted she a was a good dog.
Peggy referred to her “my best dog.” The dog is Peggy’s friend —
perhaps her closest friend (surely so if we don;t count her parents and
siblings), very much more Peggy’s equal in size than we giants are.
So we conclude that we see a more specific meaning-compatible, non-
substitution into a phrase rich in meanings (ie. meaning both “similar
to me in size” and “friendly”). This connects with the ideas of PRCEW
(“Pre-readers’ Concept of the English Word”) (Miriam’s analysis, i.e.
naming comments in her Piagetian profile) that the “real” name of a
thing is its most specific descriptions and any less complete descriptions
is imperfect and vulnerable to criticisms.

3V0940.1

3V0940.01 GSB : letters as symbols for people: “This say Mommy, Scurry, Daddy”
( 8/19/80)

We have a key ring about the house from the Guilford Savings Bank.
Peggy brought it to me today and explained to me, “This says Mommy,
Scurry, Daddy.” She has been told that this first letter begins the name
Gretchen, the last Bob, and, of course, S is for “Scurry.” The point to
note here is that WE do not impose on her this sort of correspondence.
This is what SHE remembers and makes much of.

3V0940.2

3V0940.02 Left and right: convincing discrimination (8/19/80; 8/28/80)

8/28: Bob: Gretchen reports that a few days ago, Peggy came to her
crying. When asked what was wrong, Peggy answered, “I hurt my left
leg.” When Gretchen asked her to show Mommy the hurt place, Peggy
pointed to her left leg.

A short time ago, Peggy asked me to help her put on her sandals.
Undoing the clip, I asked her to give me her left foot. She did that. I
relayed to Gretchen, “When I asked her for her left foot, she gave me
the right one.” Peggy corrected me, “This is the right one. (holding out
the other foot).”

8/28: Gretchen: A day or so ago, I asked Peggy which side of her dress
she would like a pocket — which hand would she like to put in it. She
replied, “Left.” and held up her right hand.

3V0941.1

3V0941.01 “I taller him”: words and intonations (8/20/80)

Peggy plays with the Fisher Price dolls, directing them and speaking for
them. Peggy used the comparative appropriately in speaking for
“Daddy” but more than that as well. She put on a very deep gruff voice
— of the same sort she uses to boss about the older children with my
authority. “Daddy wants to work in his chair,” to remove a sibling from
my easy chair so she can sit there.

3V0942.1

3V0942.01 If “P” means Peggy, what is “eggy” ? (8/21/80)

Peggy has been writing a lot lately. She frequently asks me to write
“Peggy Lawler” on the pages before she does anything else. It has been
my custom to write “PEGGY” at the top and “LAWLER” in the middle. She
has come to accept that she has two names and identifies the word
“Lawler” with the sound. With respect to /pegi/, she assigns that as the
value to “P” and remains confused about what the other letters mean.
Peggy draws various scratches on the papers and occasionally asks me
to label them. Her most common drawing is of /ko elz/ [?? cows?]

3V0942.2

3V0942.02 Counting letters: social context of alphabet learning (8/21/80)

So Peggy names her playing with them — and she frequently asks some
one to do that with her. She apparently has in mind companionship
alone and precious little else. Since the only thing she does with letters are:
1. identify individuals;
2. scatter them around;
3. replace them in their tray;
I invented a game to make it more interesting. One of her toy dogs
wants to help her by putting the letter away. she carries them
to the tray on her head then drops them in — because she doesn’t know
where they should go. Peggy corrects the dog’s mistakes (We played so
in P136 I believe)..

The important thing to notice here is that Peggy’s engagement is
primarily so — but it is also focused around the alphabetic symbol
system, the mastery of which is an adult (at least grown up)
characteristic.

3V0944.1

3V0944.01 Blue Moon: Color names: for Peggy “blue” means white, color of eye-
ball (8/23/80)

A month ago I put the MG on insurance and began driving down town in
it. Feeling I spend too little time with Peggy, I’ve been going out of my
way to do so. A favorite after supper activity has been taking trips to
Jacob’s Beach. Even though Peggy doesn’t go to the lab with me, she
gets these trips in “Daddy’s new car” or “Daddy’s little car.” On the
ride down, we often see cows at Goose Lane farm or horses (near Half
Mile Road). We see both (if not too dark) coming past farmer Offredi’s
on Little Meadow Road. Peggy delights in the trip, but even more in the
playground at the Beach, which she refers to as “the fair”, saying often,
“Can we go to the fair?”

Last month, I took the three children to St. George’s Carnival. Peggy;s
biggest thrill was the Merry Go Round. She road again and again. I was
as delighted with her joy as she was to ride the horses. Peggy was so
thrilled she beamed with delight, held on tight and rode up and down,
no longer noticing the world beyond herself. I have never seen her so
filled with joy.

At Jacob’s Beach is a swing set for children (three. One for infants, one
for grown ups, and the third) which instead of seats has ‘horsies’ for
riding. The horses are of different colors — but none of them are blue.
(They are black, white, red, gray, salmon, white, but none are blue.)
Peggy said she wanted to ride the blue horsie. What could that mean ?
She always got on the one she wanted by going to it. We talked a little
about the colors and she explained: “The horsies have eyes (going from
one to another). They’re blue eyes..” (all the hoses have white eyes,
with a black ‘+’ as the pupil; Peggy has blue eyes. I recall her
description of herself (by contrast with Scurry who had an eye
infection around ( 8/23/80 ) of her BROWN eyes “My eye is blue and
yukky I’m not a dog.”) The conclusion then is that “blue” to Peggy
means “eye color” and that for her the salient eye color is of the ball,
i.e. white.

We rode the horsies for a while that evening and Peggy noticed the
full moon hanging over the harbor in the early evening.
“Daddy, see the blue moon.”

3V0949.1

3V0949.01 Roles involving three people: (correcting me about Gretchen)
(8/28/80)

I no longer recall the detail of this incident. What is important is
development of the role-expansion theme from two to three
characters. Note that Peggy only has trouble with the third person
possessive pronouns (and adjective also). She has trouble — as will be
witness below in relating the situation of a second actor to a person
addressed. We don’t want to lose any more material of this sort, where
we can see Peggy working out the linguistic relations for expressing the
interactions of three people.

text above written 9/23/80 under this comment:
I feel I have been neglecting notes about Peggy as I strive to finish
“The Articulation of Roles” and produce something of value for the
NSF documentation effort. Let us try to recover some of the material
weakening in my memory.

3V0949.2

3V0949.02 five page-long list of books read to Peg in March: should be inserted at 3/4 date

Date

Reader

Action

Book
3/4

Miriam

read

Little Black, a pony
3/4

Miriam

look

Know Your Scotch Terrier
3/4

Gretchen

read

Little Black
3/4

Gretchen

look

Know your Scotch Terrier
3/5

Gretchen

read

Winnie the Pooh (half story about Tigger)
3/5

Gretchen

read 2

Little Black
3/5

Gretchen

read

Hop on Pop
3/5

Gretchen

read

London Bridge
3/5

Gretchen

look

Know Your Scotch Terrier
3/5

Gretchen

read 2

Richard Scary’s Early Words
3/5

Bob

read

When we Were Very Young
3/5

Bob

listen

Peggy reads Early Words
3/6

Gretchen

read

Little Black
3/7

Robby

read 2

little Black
3/7

Robby

read

Hop on Pop
3/7

Robby

read

London Bridge
3/7

Gretchen

read 2

Little Black
3/7

Gretchen

read 2

Sesame Street
3/7

Miriam

read 5

Sesame Street
3/7

Bob

read

Little Black
3/8

Gretchen

read

Little Black
3/8

Gretchen

read

Little Black
3/8

Gretchen

read

Hop on Pop
3/8

Gretchen

leaf thru

Hop on Pop
3/8

Gretchen

read 2

Little Black Goes to the Circus
3/9

Gretchen

read 2

Little Black
3/9

Gretchen

read/eat

Cat in the Hat
3/9

Bob

read(tape)

Little Black Goes to the Circus
3/9

Gretchen

read

Little Black goes to the Circus
3/9

Gretchen

read

Little Black
3/9

Gretchen

read 3

Sesame Street
3/9

Gretchen

read 2

Hop on Pop
3/10

Gretchen

read 2

I Met a Penguin
3/10

Gretchen

read

Cat in the Hat
3/10

Robby

recite

The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night
3/10

Gretchen

read

Cat in the Hat Comes Back
3/11

Gretchen

read 1.5

Richard Scary’s Postman Pig
3/11

Gretchen

read

Sesame Street
3/11

Gretchen

read

Wing on a Flea (Emberly)
3/11

Gretchen

read

Sesame Street
3/11

Gretchen

read

Richard Scary’s Please and thank You
3/11

Gretchen

read

Little Black
3/11

Gretchen

read

Postman Pig
3/11

Gretchen

read 3

Sesame Street
3/11

Gretchen

read

Cat in the Hat
3/11

Gretchen

read

Hop on Pop (selected pages)
3/11

Gretchen

read 2

Wing on a Flea
3/11

Gretchen

read

Cat in the Hat
3/11

Gretchen

read

Little Black
3/12

Gretchen

read 2

Wing on a Flea
3/12

Gretchen

paraphrase

Minette et ses Chatons
3/12

Gretchen

read

little Black
3/12

Gretchen

read

Postman Pig (P. turns pages)
3/12

Gretchen

read 3

Sesame Street
3/12

Gretchen

skim

What do People Do All Day ?
3/12

Gretchen

read

Postman Pig
3/12

Gretchen

read

Cat in the Hat
3/12

Gretchen

read 2

Wing on a Flea
3/12

Gretchen

read

Cat in the Hat
3/12

Gretchen

read

London Bridge
3/12

Gretchen

read

Presidents
3/12

Gretchen

read 2

I meta Penguin
3/12

Miriam

read

Postman Pig
3/12

Miriam

read

Little Black
3/12

Gretchen

read

Little Black
3/12

Gretchen

read

Postman Pig
3/13

Gretchen

read

Night Before Christmas
3/13

Miriam

read

Postman Pig
3/13

Miriam

read

Cat in the Hat Comes Back
3/13

Miriam

read

The Fox
3/13

Gretchen

read

Thinking Back (Britanica)
3/13

Gretchen

read

Animals on the Farm
3/13

Gretchen

read

Cat in the Hat
3/14

Gretchen

read

Cat in the Hat
3/14

Gretchen

read

Shapes (Britanica)
3/14

Gretchen

read

Sizes (Britanica)
3/14

Gretchen

read

Shapes

3/14

Gretchen

read

Postman Pig
3/14

Gretchen

read

Night Before Christmas
3/14

Miriam

read 2

The Fox
3/14

Miriam

read 2

Wing on a Flea
3/14

Gretchen

read/sing

The Fox
3/14

Gretchen

read 2

Wing on a Flea
3/14

Gretchen

read

Cat in the Hat Comes Back
3/14

Gretchen

read

Peter Rabbit
3/14

Bob

read

the Fox
3/15

Gretchen

read

The Fox
3/15

Gretchen

read

Erie Canal
3/15

Gretchen

read

Richard Scary’s Best Word book Ever
3/15

Gretchen

read

The Fox
3/15

Bob

read

Wing on a Flea
3/15

Bob

read .5

Please and Thank You
3/15

Gretchen

read

The Fox
3/15

Gretchen

read

Wing on a Flea
3/16

Gretchen

read .5

R. Scary’s Great Big Schoolhouse
3/16

Gretchen

leaf

Presidents
3/16

Gretchen

read 2

Erie Canal
3/16

Gretchen

read

Little Black
3/16

Bob

read

Postman Pig
3/16

Miriam

read 2

The Fox
3/16

Miriam

read

Wing on a Flea
3/16

Gretchen

read

Postman Pig
3/16

Gretchen

read

Erie Canal
3/16

Bob

read

Wing on a Flea
3/16

Gretchen

read

Postman Pig
3/17

Robby

read

Wing on a Flea
3/17

Bob

sing

The Fox
3/17

Gretchen

read

Wing on a Flea
3/17

Gretchen

read 2+

Sesame Street
3/18

Gretchen

read

Trains
3/18

Gretchen

read

Trains
3/18

Miriam

read

Postman Pig
3/18

Gretchen

read

Postman Pig
3/18

Gretchen

read

Sesame Street
3/18

Gretchen

read

Wing on a Flea
3/18

Gretchen

read

Trains
3/19

Gretchen

read

Airplanes
3/19

Gretchen

try to read

Airplanes, etc.
3/21

Bob

sing

The Fox
3/21

Peggy

read self

The Flying Trunk
3/21

Gretchen

read

Cat in the Hat
3/22

Gretchen

read

Cat in the Hat
3/22

Gretchen

read

Erie Canal
3/22

Gretchen

read

Trains
3/22

Gretchen

read

Peter Rabbit
3/24

Gretchen

read

Trains
3/24

Gretchen

read

Sesame Street People
3/24

Robby

read

Trains
3/25

Gretchen

paraphrase

Peter Rabbit

3/25

Gretchen

read

Peter Rabbit
3/25

Gretchen

read

Two Bad Mice
3/25

Gretchen

read

Jeremy Fisher ?
3/25

Gretchen

read

Hop Aboard
3/26

Gretchen

read

Peter Rabbit
3/27

Gretchen

read

Puppies
3/27

Gretchen

read

Bimbo Architecte (Fr.)
3/27

Gretchen

read

Hop Aboard
3/27

Bob

read

Puppies
3/27

Gretchen

read

Phonics
3/28

Bob

leaf

National Geographics
3/29

Gretchen

read

Where the Wild Things Are
3/29

Gretchen

read

Phonics (except vowels)
3/29

Gretchen

read/sing

The Fox
3/29

Gretchen

read

Everyday Things (Britanica)
3/30

Gretchen

read

Benjamin Bunny
3/30

Gretchen

read

Benjamin Bunny
3/31

Gretchen

read

Wing on a Flea
4/1

Gretchen

read

Please and thank You
4/3

Gretchen

read 2

He’s Your Dog, Charlie Brown
4/4

Gretchen

read

Little Train
4/4

Gretchen

read

All Day Long (R. Scary)
4/4

Gretchen

read

Madeline and the Bad Hat
4/4

Gretchen

read

Maybelle the Cable Car
4/4

Bob

read

When We were Very young
4/4

Bob

read

Now we are six
4/4

Gretchen

read

Madeline and the Bad Hat
4/4

Gretchen

read

Maybelle the Cable Car
4/4

Gretchen

read

Little Train
4/4

Gretchen

read 2

All Day Long

3V0950.1

3V0960.01 Tracing letters (8/29/80)

Peggy’s set of magnetic letters comes with cards for inserting them into
to spell the names of pictured objects. Peggy has been using them
differently, as I first saw her doing while she played with Miriam.
Peggy traces/scribbles inside the letter outlines of the card. I asked
what she was doing. Peggy removed the card and pointing to the letter
shape she had made she said, “That’s a D.”

3V0956.1

3V0956.01 Meaning more than she can say (9/4/80)

This note documents an incident more remarkable for what Peggy
failed to say that for what she did say: While I was off in Boston,
Miriam had been sitting in my arm chair (one from which I shoo the
children whenever I want to sit there.) It has been Peggy’s habit to
chase the older children away (by claiming I wanted to sit in my chair)
then clambering in herself as soon as they vacated the seat.

(See ____.) In this incident, Peggy was “tattling” (or perhaps just observing)
that Miriam had been sitting in my chair — which still present evidence
— candy wrappers, and her books — made clear. What Peggy said was
more elaborate than “Mimi working …. with you.” I believe she wanted
to say, “Mimi was in your chair, and when I told her to go away she
countered that she was “working,” ie. used your excuse for not playing
with me.” What she said was more like this:
Peggy: “Mimi working..(looks at chair)…with you…with you…Mimi working.”
Bob: Mimi was working in my chair ?
Peggy: Mimi working… with your chair.”

I believe this incident witnesses Peggy with a burden of meaning beyond
her ability of expression. We need be especially sensitive to such
incidents to tell what the limits of her ability are.

3V0961.1

3V0961.01 An old joke, naturally arising – the “wrong feet”: (9/9/80)

Peggy was putting on her shoes for herself. As she began to put one on,
I said, “Peggy, you’re putting your shoes on the wrong feet.” She came
back with the classic remark, “These are my feet.”

3V0965.1

3V0965.01 BANG and RING: extending word knowledge (9/13/80)

Peggy can recognize these two words as distinct. She clambered onto
my bed this evening, asking me to read her a Tintin story. We came,
inter alia, across several “bangs” to which Peggy remarked, “That say,
‘BANG’.” As we read on, we came to a picture of a telephone with,
above it, “RRRRING.” I asked Peggy what that word said. She responded,
“That say ‘BANG’.” I asked, “Are you sure?” She studied the picture and
decided, “It say ‘RING’.”

This is an important discrimination not because it shows words at the
core of Peggy’s future knowledge, but because it marks an incident
where she has extended her command of some first word to some
second word. Clearly, the extra alphabetic information signifies the
meanings she puts on the symbols of “RING” by which she has
discriminated it from “BANG.” The next thing to look for is whether
she makes such a discrimination without the pictures. (TRY IN P140.
Take the Tintin to Boston and prepare cards to show her next Sunday.)

3V0971.1

3V0971.01 In my lap: repertoire of three character scripts (9/19/80)

I have tried to dissuade Peggy from reading all the time. So more lately,
she has climbed into my lap with friends, the small bear, the pink
panther, “Aroot” her elephant, and the horse Miriam received when she
was in the hospital. The animals have a very limited repertoire. They
kiss each other and eat each other. Peggy introduced the novelty of
having her bears eat my beard. When the horsie is present, the other
animals want to ride him — they quickly fall off and die. More
interesting is the third body relation. Peggy has the bear say, “I wanta
get up a you.” (As she says to Gretchen, Mimi, and me) to the pink
panther. She also has the panther lift the bear and put it on the horse.
Further, she has directed me to perform this action as well. Such play
is purely of her initiation.

3V0973.2

3V0973.02 Letters and Counting (9/21/80)

Peggy played with a puzzle, a square 4x with 15 movable slabs in it,
each with a number on it from 1 to 15. I asked Peggy what she played
with and, when she said it was a present from Robby, asked by pointing
to the numbers, “What are those ?” She answered, “Letters….five, six,
seven, nine, ten, thirteen, fifteen.” While doing so, she pointed
variously at the numbered slabs. This clearly shows that she
distinguishes between letters and numbers but does not yet label them
consistently as we do. Further imperfect discriminations are witnessed
in her request that we play together, that I help her “count” her letters
— by which she means “place them in the tray they fit in.”

3V0974.1

3V0974.01 The Pig in the book: what does Peggy mean by what she says? (9/22/80)

Peggy was playing with her “happy family” (her Fischer price dolls).
I mentioned she had other animals besides the dogs. There was a
chicken and, somewhere, a black pig. Peggy pointed to a Richard Scary
book and asked, “Can I play with that pig ?” I responded, “Can you?”
She answered, “No. It’s just a picture.”

A week or more past, after I often drove her to Jacob’s Beach in the
MG), Peggy often drove us crazy by asking, “Can I ride that horsie?”
when she saw pictures of individual animals or toys or of the Merry Go
Round in the Brittanica children’s book…It was often explained that she
was referring to a picture and she could not ride a picture… Is it
possible to believe she really meant what she said in the questions ?
A puzzle.

3V0977.1

3V0977.01 Reading words to Peggy: unintended instruction

Peggy has been lately enjoying Richard Scary’s “Best Word Book Ever.”
She brought it to me today and asked me to read her the words (in a
general sense) “Read these words?” I read the title, etc. then began to
read the labels accompanying objects on the cover. “This word says
‘rabbit’. This word says ‘farmer’.” etc. I realized I was giving her
instruction, explicitly, in what a word is. I continued for about ten
minutes by which time Peggy was pointing to individual words and
asking “what does this word mean?” I conclude she has made a
primary identification of words as discrete clusters of letters.

3V0981.1

3V0981.01 Meta-linguistic knowledge: “I can’t read words” (9/29/80)

Peggy clambered onto my bed where I lay reading — then got down to
get a Tintin to read to me. She said, after propping it open and most
unhappily, “I can’t read words.” I comforted her, “You have to learn
how to do that sweety. It’s very hard, but you’ll be able to do it.”

3V0981.2

3V0981.02 Talking about places: complexity of Peggy’s interpretive situation (9/29/80)

Miriam recorded this dialogue about Peggy’s new toy Bunny:
Peggy: I got my Bunny at the book store.
Miriam: No. You got it at the Hole in the Wall.
Peggy: Where the book shop ?
Miriam: Near the Hole in the Wall.
Peggy: I thought it was Pizza Store (The Book Swap is there).

Here we have the problem of houses again. What does mean ? Clear
example of Peggy’s articulate definition of a problem we never noticed
or heard of.

Later note: What did I mean here ? Her interpretive situation is more
complex than we imagined. To someone 30 inches high, all bookstores
may look alike.

3V0995.1

3V0995.01 Excuses and implausible threats (10/11/80)

Peggy begins now to more frequently offer excuses (as her siblings do
all too often) and even makes threats. She sometimes neglects to
empty her potty into the toilet after shitting. I urged her to do so
today. as she sat on the floor, playing with a bare foot. Instead of
doing as I asked, she responded, “I’m looking for my broken toe.” Her
response could be judged perfectly appropriate if we interpret it to
mean “I hurt my toe. I want to see how badly hurt it is. Let me do this
before I respond to your order.” On the other hand, she had, as I
recall, she had just been PLAYING with her toes and that not very
intently.

The fragility of the semantic attachment in the context of Peggy’s more
global intentions is further demonstrated in a threat she offered Robby.
He sat in my easy chair. She wanted him to go away so she could sit
there, first telling him simply to get out and when he refused
fabricating the motive that I wanted to sit in the chair. When Robby
refused again, she offered him a terrible threat and warning, “You’ll get
run over by a car.”

3V0996.1

3V0996.01 Using incomprehensible numbers: “Eighty” (10/12/80)

Miriam reported that Peggy was counting with such high numbers.
I recall Miriam saying that Peggy said things like “85, 86” and so forth
but have little confidence in that. See note of 10/27/80 on Counting
Jumping Jacks.

3V1001.1

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

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

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

3V1004.1

3V1004.01 Role Reversal: reading to others (10/20/80)

Bringing some wood inside, I nearly tripped over Scurry at the porch
door. Continuing on, I came close to Peggy also, who censured me
“Don’t step on me, Daddy. Don’t step on Scurry. She’s a good kid,
too.” Scurry is Peggy’s most accessible playmate (and the only
controllable one), so it is not especially surprising that Peggy, holding
Scurry by the leash and so forth (scratching the back and ears
betimes), reading to herself, should claim that she is reading to Scurry.
She knows that Scurry can’t talk and she believes (as questions in P143
and P144 showed) she can’t understand, but she read to her anyway as
she read to her “Bear Hug” the day before. This specific imitation is
more a “role reversal” than a simple imitation. I expect that through
deepening this role imitation, she will become a reader.

3V1004.2

3V1004.02 Horse and Cash register as typewriter (10/20/80)

Peggy has delighted in the rocking horse at the Hole in The Wall. Robby
found and bought her one at a local tag sale. Peggy is ecstatic ! Miriam
found her a cash register, battery operated. We cleaned up the
corrosion, put in new batteries and “Voila!” The device makes noises
and lights numbers in a display rack. Pushing buttons, Peggy peered at
the lights in the dark display, “There are my letters.” She referred to it
as her “typer.”