Skip to content
Archive with last of tag-string Q5

3V0369.1

3V0369.01 More putting on: multiple objects (1/26/79)

I usually sit working in the midst of clutter, a table on one side, a tall stool on the other. When sitting in my lap, as this morning, Peggy points here and there, say /thaet//thaet/, thus she comes in possession of my pipe, my pens or whatever else catches her eye within my reach. Today, sitting on my lap. the stool nearby, Peggy played with a handful of pens. She picked one out, reached over and took it up. Peggy tried a different pen. When it remained on the clip-board (on top of the stool), she added a second pen and then a third. She continued placing and retrieving pens for several minutes.

3V0376.1

3V0376.01 Example of insensitivity to obvious features of objects (2/2/79)

Peggy sits in my lap, often playing with my pipe. Today we sat near my very small table with its clutter of writing implements. Peg took one pen and began poking it into the pipe bowl. Casting her eyes over the clutter, she spied a clear plastic ruler and indicated she wanted it. The width of the ruler is greater than that of the pipe bowl. Peg was puzzled as she kept trying to stuff the ruler end in the bowl. She tried again with the pen. It succeeded but the ruler failed once again and she stopped trying.

Relevance: simple example of her assimilating the ruler to her ‘rod’ scheme and running into trouble.

3V0377.1

3V0377.01 Neat phenomena and instruction: An Ale Bottle — (2/03/79)

Peggy has long had the habit of carrying ale bottle. We separate glass trash for recycling and Peggy has long been able to careen over in her walker, select one she likes, and continue charging about the ground floor waving her prize. She usually puts various parts of the bottle in her mouth at various times.

After lunch today, Peggy sat in my lap. As she asked for that or that or that from my table, finally for an empty ale bottle, I held it off from her long enough to make it sound by blowing across the mouth of the bottle. Peggy was amazed and delighted. After becoming sure that the sound came from the bottle when I held it to my mouth, Peggy demanded it from me. She took the bottle to her mouth and tried to make it sound; he best attempt was a humming with her mouth over the bottle opening. This should be no surprise. Peggy;s brother and sister also had trouble with this trick until they were much older.

Relevance: another homely example – this time of Peggy trying to do something that fascinates her but is clearly beyond her capability.

Note: 6/14/2012: looks like a dating / sequence error in Vignette / file name

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.

3V0388.1

3V0388.01 Hiding from sight and relocating things (2/14/79)

For weeks now, when playing with objects taken from my pockets or my writing table, Peggy has delighted in hiding them. her characteristic move is to put a pen, for example, underneath her leg on the seat cushion or, the usual case since she is on my lap, pushing the pen between the seat cushions or between my body and the chair. Typically, she is not content until that object is out of sight. When this is the case, she turns away and then returns and seeks the object where she had hidden it.

As she is now becoming more mobile, she has taken to hiding things (small objects she can pick up) in any places difficult for her to see into. when my pens disappear, I have to look in the trash can, in dresser drawers left ajar, around the corners of furniture, and under such pieces.

3V0398.1

3V0398.01 Shaping and imitation (2/24/79)

Perhaps two weeks ago, Peggy had a cookie. In the process of consumption, a rather large piece was broken off and dropped. I retrieved it for her and handed it back.
she took this piece in her free hand and immediately tried to match it to the main body of the cookie in her other, like someone doing a puzzle. Eating, however, was her main interest after a few seconds.

Imitation: about the same time, Peggy had found a small bell tied with yellow yarn. This intrigued her. I wanted to show her how it rang, but she would not yield it to me. I took her arm by the upper part and elbow and gently shook her whole arm. The bell jingled (somewhat dully, since her hand was wrapped around the bell). When I let go, she looked at me, then at the bell in her hand. Then she deliberately raised her hand and shook the bell, producing a tingling again, to her delight.

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.”

3V0412.1

3V0412.01 Putting-on; (3/10/79)

Peggy has definitely begun putting objects on “tables”, i.e. any flat
surface bounded and raised. The evidence of intention is her repeating
the action. For example, she spent a long time (10 minutes or so) with
Miriam’s boots and the checker table, putting on one, then both, then
taking them off.

She also sat beside a pile of books at my chair, placing all the objects in
her reach on top of the dictionary; her hair brush, a rolling toy, some
other random objects she played with that day.

3V0413.1

3V0413.01 Change of fashion in Peggy’s favored sounds; cups, closing(3/11/79)

About three weeks ago “Doit” [do-it?] replaced “ha zat” (have that) and
“zat …zat…zat” as the most frequently used phrase in Peggy’s speech.
For a while the older phrases disappeared completely, then returned….

Ten days or so ago, Peggy went to take a nap about 5 pm, and slept
through until 2:30 am. Naturally she was wide awake and fresh, so I
took her down stairs and fed her a container of yogurt. Part way
through, she refused the spoon, pointing to the lid and saying “that,
that, that.” When I gave her the lid she began playing with it and
resumed eating the yogurt. (She does this frequently, sometimes not
eating at all until she obtains the lid.) She then started replacing the lid
on the container, at first in between my dipping out a spoonful, then
while the spoon was still inside. When the container was empty, she
played with it also, putting the lid on and lifting the container up with
both hands. At one point she brought it to her mouth like a cup. Tiring
of this, she bobbed her head forward to peer up at me, and laughed
delightedly when I imitated her. She repeated the action many times to
provoke my response.

At about the same time, she picked up her cup to drink. By chance the
drinking spout was on the upper edge. Previously I have always seen
her try to drink from the spout anyway, but this time she rotated the
cup by bringing her left hand over to the right and the right over to
the left, and drank in that contorted position. She also delights in
pouring some milk out onto the tray of the high chair, so she can
smack the puddle with her hand. Gretchen.

3V0415.1

3V0415.01 Functional classification: two examples, one in error (3/13/79)

Peggy has begun to classify objects by what she knows their use to be.
Some examples are equivocal, though I remain convinced of their
interpretation. For example, Peggy has been “brushing” her hair. This
could be from having her hair brushed, from seeing Miriam brush her
hair, or it could be her use of the object according to a functional
definition of what it is for. A further complication, with a hair brush, is
that Peggy passes so many things behind her neck, it is hard to be
certain that she is really “brushing.” (The best evidence is that she
repeatedly brushes her hair even if she eventually passes the brush
behind her neck.)

There is less certainty about the second example, depending as it does
on an incorrect assimilation, Peggy hates to have her nails cut. She
carries on terribly. She sat in my lap demanding objects from my table.
One of the first that came to her hand was a pair of tweezers. Peggy
held one end and touched the other to each of the toes on one foot in
succession. (The day before, she had had her nails clipped.) I infer
that Peggy saw the tweezers as a nail clipper (both are of the same
length and have a small set of jaws at the end). The functional
classification it witnessed by her application of the tweezers.

3V0417.1

3V0417.01 Putting-in with no pockets! insensitive to the “obvious” (3/15/79)

After many games of “wooba wooba”, pockets still confuse Peggy.
Equally, they interest her. When my shirt pockets have the flaps tucked
in, she can occasionally get enough of a hanky in for it to stay in place.
Similarly, she succeeds more or less well getting my pipe stems or pens
(even two at a time) into my pocket. With the flap down, but not
buttoned, she fails. When Peggy fails to insert an object in a pocket,
she tries a second time, holding the object in place and (it seems)
pressing slightly or holding long. This response applies even when I
have no pockets. In one case, I wore a sweater about the same color as
my green shirt and , when we played with a hanky, Peggy tried putting it
into a non-existent pocket in the sweater.

Peggy tries putting objects, especially pens, into her “pockets.” Her
infant clothes have none, but whenever she sits and the material
puckers up between sets of snaps, she has a pocket which she pokes
about in.

3V0423.1

3V0423.01 Trying to stick a magnet to the butcher block (3/21/79)

Peggy had a small magnet, from the varied collection that normally are
holding things on the refrigerator door. She approached the smooth
side of the butcher block and held up the magnet to the surface. It did
not hold, of course. She picked it up and very carefully placed it on
the wood again. I do not know if she was trying to make it stick with
pressure, or just attempting to make sure that the magnet was in good
position before she let it go.

3V0429.1

3V0429.01 Stair gate: extends her horizon. (3/27/79)

We have long had a stair gate at the bottom of the flight to our second
storey. I put it up at first to keep Scurry downstairs (for Miriam’s
sake) but knew also that we want to keep Peggy from climbing
unattended. While I have worked at my thesis, all too frequently
Gretchen has left Peggy in our bedroom, the door closing her in with
me while she is washing laundry and so forth. Gretchen’s purpose was
clearly to prevent Peggy falling from the top of the stair flight down.
finally, I mounted a second baby gate at the stair top.

The effect of the gate for Peggy has been a vast widening of her
accessible horizon. Now no longer [confined] to my bedroom, she wanders about
the second storey — out in the hall, into the bathroom, into the water
closet, into the room she shares with Miriam — and returns with booty
from her journeys. the only problem so far from her new found
freedom was a scare that she was sick because of eating some soap
(this possibility was pure speculation). Not so. Peggy has been feeling
out of sorts for a few days with a low fever — probably from a minor
cold.

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.

3V0432.2

3V0432.02 Foxy Robin Hood: classification. (3/30/79)

Peggy has been playing much of late with Miriam’s stuffed toy fox,
called “Foxy.” Peggy carries the toy about by the ear, pets it as she tries
to do with Scurry. (Has she compared it yet to our pictures in the living
room ? I’m not certain.) Yesterday Peggy sat on the floor in front of
her dresser (which is in my bedroom because of Miriam’s allergies)
pointing to a decal on the bottom drawer, in an attempt to point it out
to Miriam. Today it became clear why. The decal is one of Robin Hood
— but the picture is of a Red Fox in a green suit with a bow and arrow.
Peggy hauled Foxy over to the dresser. then talking only to herself but
with the same delighted tones of yesterday’s talk with Miriam, Peggy
pointed first at Robin then at Foxy, then repeated her pointing and her
exclamations.

3V0432.3

3V0432.03 Problem solving: bad bugs; insensitivity to the “obvious” (3/30/79)

Problem solving: bad bugs; insensitivity to the “obvious” (3/30/79) |
One of those many times she has sat in my lap, Peggy began trying to
uncap pens. (She has seen me put the cap on firmly many times, so
that when she put them in my pockets or took them out she would not
get ink all over). she succeeded with various bic pens and today she
tackled a black (?) Flash pen. This plastic pen has a metal ring and a
pocket clip and a white/gray circle at the top of the cap on the end.
Peggy succeeded in separating the cap from the pen. I put the cap back
on to avoid our both getting covered with black ink. Peggy removed
the cap. she began then trying to replace the cap, holding the pen in
her right hand and the cap in her left.

Peggy had a lot of trouble. She managed quite well inserting the pen in
the cap hole. BUT without good alignment, the pen would not go in
very far. She pressed harder. She removed the end and tried again.
After several tries, her persistence coupled with luck to permit the pen
insertion. She repeated the action five to ten times, refining her action
so that he re-insertions were quicker and more sure than the original
process. Somehow, the pen and the cap changed hands.

Peggy tried capping the pen with the cap in her right hand. She could
not do it. The reason is more surprising than the fact. The cap had
been turned around and she persisted in trying to insert the pen
through the white circle on the top of the cap. Can she not, does she
not distinguish a hole (whose appearance is black and round) from that
decorative circle (whose appearance is white and round)? The other
obvious common feature is that both are on the end of a cylinder.
If this is a discrimination failure, is the problem some non-salience of
color ? (Hard to believe.) Is it the complexity of three intersecting
features (being round, on a cylinder, and of different colors) ?
Perhaps it is not a discrimination failure but one of ignorance, i.e.
Peggy does not know that a covered hole prohibits insertion.

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.

3V0444.1

3V0444.01 Playing with Scurry; tool, weapons, chimps, and Peggy (4/11/79)

After Peggy became more skilled at toddling around, she and Scurry
have delighted in chasing each other about the house. Scurry bounces
up and down, changes direction running off, hides under the chairs and
peers out. Peggy toddles about, chortling gleefully, sometimes chasing
Scurry, sometimes patting her (the petting is very hard). The latest
prop introduced to this play is a yard stick. Peggy holds one end and
chases Scurry with the other. With such an end grip, the yardsticks’
other end stays on the floor as Peggy chases Scurry who leaps nimbly
over the impediment.

When Peggy gets to use a different grip, she is dangerous. Holding the
yardstick at mid-point and “patting” Scurry with it, or “chasing” her
with it, has given the dog a few bad whacks which she seems to accept
without anger.

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.”