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3V0586.2

3V0586.02 /bae/bae/: general purpose word (noun) where /thaet/ was the general word of imperious force. 8/31/79

Over the past week or two, this sound pattern has taken over Peggy’s
speech. It seems to have replaced /thaet/ in the latter’s application as
the general pronoun, i.e. “baba” may refer to Peggy’s Teddy Bear, my
pillow, a desired cookie or whatever. The latter is especially striking
because “cookie” has long been stable in Peggy’s lexicon.

Relevance: Speculation: Baba has become the general noun where
/thaet/ was the general utterance, sentence, or phrase.

3V0650.1

3V0650.01 Diminutive “y”; is it a personal relation indicator, nominal date inserted: 11/3/79 from “Early November”

Peggy has been appending the “y” suffix to a number of words, e.g.
“dog” has become (on occasion) “doggy.” She exhibits the typical
extension in using any new feature. For example, not only has the dog
become “doggy” an alternate name for her toy terrier, not Scurry), but
even BALL has become BALL-y and SOX has become SOX-y. (This, as
Miriam notes rhymes with Foxy and is a most “logical” over extension
in terms of Peggy’s experiences).

What does the diminutive mean to her ? My speculation is that it is a
relation-indicator, one showing personal attachment to objects (as if
equivalent to “my dog.” “my ball,” “my sox.”) This is not much
different from adult usage.

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.”

3V0700.2

3V0700.02 Knives and spoons: learning the word “fork”; called initially a spoon; when I named the object as fork, she called it a “foon”; counting incident. (12/23/79)

When the dishwasher cycle ended, I asked Miriam to put away the
dishes. Helpful Peggy was easily recruited. She started selecting
silverware from the dishwasher and carried it to the appropriate
cabinet. When she was unable to reach high enough to put the
silverware away, I became her assistant. Peggy ran back and forth.
“knife…spoon…spoon.” (The later name applied to forks as well. I
tried correcting her… “That’s a fork, Peg, not a spoon.” Peg brought me
the next fork and said as she gave it to me “foon”)

Peggy began bringing handfuls of silver and said as she handed them to
me, “one, three, four.” on the next trip, (no one speaking between) she
continued “one, three, another”.

Peggy clearly knows some number names, and that they apply to
counting and that a successor name “another” can be used in a
counting series.

Could “two” be left out of her series of well known number names
because of the homonym “too” which is richly meaningful for Peggy as
“me too” a word she uses very assertively ?

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’.

3V0728.2

3V0728.01 CAUSE – toilet training; cause, agent, effect (1/20/80)

We have tried to interest Peggy in using a small toilet. She plays with it,
pushing around the house, chasing the dog with it, and so forth –
investigating the removable pot and peering at it every which way. Now
she knows the clothes come off before using the toilet and that one sits
down over the hole, but doing so distresses her, perhaps frightens her
about falling through. (She sits on it only with the lid down.)
Another aspect of this toilet training situation has been my suspicion
(based on my own recollections from infancy) that Peggy might not
know that SHE shits in her diapers, ie. she might not connect at all any
activity or somatic feelings of hers with the appearance of feces in her
diapers. Recently I had asked her, when she requested a diaper change
and it was filthy, whether she had shit in her diapers. She uniformly
answered ‘no.’ Today she came over and said, ‘Diaper change…shitty.’
‘Did you shit in your diapers ?’ I asked. When Peggy answered, ‘Yes,’ I
continued ‘Why didn’t you shit in the toilet ?’ Peggy replied, ‘ ‘Cause.’

3V0876.1

3V0876.01 More role articulation: (toilet training) (6/26/80)

Peggy has been much engaged with toilet training (mainly from social
pressure plus a little direct instruction). For example, when I called
home from Boston last week, she was so proud of herself she explained
having taken off her coat and dress and that she had pissed in the toilet.
Similarly, after shitting in her toilet on Saturday, she brought in the
removable pot to display her accomplishment. Now this morning,
before anyone else was up, I heard her talking through the partition
which separates our rooms. First, she spoke to some bug that dared
invade her crib and chased it away. Later, she said, “I just pissed.
SHAME ON YOU.” (The capitals indicating a louder tone. So we have
distinctions of roles, pronoun usage, and in volume/tone. But what is
she doing ? Is she using multiple roles to preserve recall of an unusual
verbal form “Shame on you.” ? So would run my speculation.

Vn00102

Vn001.02

Commutativity

5/8/77

As I sat transcribing the dialogue from recent logo sessions, I heard Robby inquire of Gretchen, at work in the kitchen, how many were 5 twelves. Gretchen simplified the computation by elaborating the problem: 5 twelves is half of 10 twelves. How much is 10 twelves? As Robby worked away on that problem, Miriam, playing at a puzzle within earshot of that conversation, piped up: “the answer is 60.”

Poor Robby! How frustrating when working on a different problem to be prevented by some one else’s interjecting the ‘correct’ answer. And yet, Miriam did have it right. I was quite worried that she had computed the answer by summing twelves (which Robby could have done, albeit with some difficulty and uncertainty) while he wrestled with the transformed problem,

Gretchen had been watching Miriam. She saw Miriam compute 5 twelves by finger-counting thus: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, / 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, / . . . 60. Thus Miriam’s procedure is more primitive than Robby’s but it is also more sophisticated. She makes use of the commutativity of basic arithmetic operations at every turn. Several weks ago, Miriam gave direct evidence of her use of commutativity in adding. Mimi Sinclair asked her: “How many is 17 plus 6?” ’23’ Miriam responded counting up from 17 on 6 fingers. When the query turned to 6 plus 17, Miriam responded with no hesitation, ’23, because it’s the same problem.

I speculate that she uses commutativity because it permits her to proceed to an answer which costs her little if wrong; Robby, more concerned with the correctness of his results than the unimpeded progress of the computation, is more inclined to ask for advice than to trust to a property, commutativity, which can give him an answer but one about whose correctness he is uncertain. This speculation may demean the actual extent of Miriam’s understanding.

Vn02701

Vignette 27.1 Emberley’s Faces (2) 6/17/77

A large portion of Miriam’s drawings during the past year have
taken the form of presents she makes to others. She has spoken of them
as presents many times. One formal element of these notes reflects
that character. Each typically bears a tag of the form: “TO _______/
LOVE, MIRIAM” (see Addendum 1 for an example). Her initial tags were
of the form: “TO ________/FROM MIRIAM,” reflecting, I believe, the
format of tags she read on presents received at Christmas and so forth.
Their great-grandmother sends both children postcards whenever she goes
on trips with a valediction “Love, G.G.”

The note presented in Addenda 1 and 2 is to a fellow of Miriam’s
play group. Brian is a boy whose entire family is committed to foot-
ball, so it’s most appropriate that Emberley’s ‘Football Fred’ face
(page 11) should be a present for him. The face inside is ‘Sleeping
Simone’ (page 7). Because the note lay on her desk for several days,
I had the opportunity to ask Miriam how she came to draw such a nice
picture. She replied that she copied Football Fred’s face but made
the body up herself. The shoulders of that body come from Football
Fred’s face. The ‘bar’ arms, ‘stick’ legs, and circular body are
typical of her earlier drawing. The striped shirt is the costume of
a rugby player ( a very popular shirt style now, which is also found
in Emberley’s book on page 28).

Relevance
The note/present Miriam made for her friend Brian shows in
high contrast the appearance of sophistication which she is
developing from copying faces in conjunction with the quite
primitive body-drawing she invented herself.

Addendum 27-1

Football Fred

Vn 27-1 Emberley's Football Fred

Addendum 27-2

Sleeping Simone

Vn 27-2 Sleeping Simone