Skip to content
Archive with last of tag-string W133


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.


3V0932.01 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.”


3V0932.02 Bouncing imagined; nonstandard pronoun usage (8/11/80)

Peggy listened with the toy telephone at her ear then put it down.
“Mrs. Gonan. I go to she’s house and bounce on trampoline.” Thus Peggy
recalled and imagined an activity which has been the ideal realization
of one of her favorite activities, bouncing. For months now, it seems,
whenever she can get someone to permit it, she climbs onto my bed
and bounces. Standing, she bounces three, four, or more times, lifts
her legs, landing on her bum and rolling over. Her favorite time for
this is when I go to bed (and thus can keep her from bouncing off the
bed since I don’t keep her from bouncing ON it.)


3V0933.01 Describing actions: fluid script application (8/12/80)

Over this past week, Peggy has often played with her Fischer-Price dolls.
This has joined with her new interest in Legos so she has made (with
Miriam’s help and mine) in making couches and houses for her dolls.
Most striking about Peggy’s play with dolls is her language use. She
interleaves different roles in a fluid manner. She speaks in the person
of specific dolls in turns (she has named them generically (?) by roles
from our family names: thus “Daddy”, “Mommy”, “Mimi” and “Peggy”
have become generalized names. She gives the dolls commands, (“Go
up there.”), directions (“Rub his face.”), and advice (“Better hold on.”)
She even inquires of them, “Are you alright?”

I tried to capture an example of this in Sunday’s experiment (P134) but
it didn’t work well.


3V0933.02 Fixity of Part Relations: idioms are central (8/12/80)

As we set out the supper on the table, Peggy in her high chair already
was delighted to see the food. “It’s macaroni and cheese,” she
exclaimed, “Peg,” I said, “It’s cheese and macaroni.” “Not cheese and
macaroni,” she argued adamantly, “It’s macaroni and cheese.”

What is she arguing about ? What is the name of this dish to her ?
Is the name an unstructured thing of no parts — and thus not a thing
capable of being reordered ? Or does the order of parts play a
significant role for her in the interpretation of meaning ?


3V0933.03 Nouns and adjectives: non-standard usage (8/12/80)

Peggy has long resisted our attributing any character to her where of
this form, “You’re a X.” (Or “Are you an X ?”)
Bob: Are you a sweet Peggy ?
Peggy: Yes.
Bob: Are you a sweety ?
Peggy: No ! I’m a Peggy !
It appears to be the case that Peggy will accept modification of her
name by some attributive adjective but not a substitute for her name.
Another clear example of personal application of adjectives derives
from a description of herself, reflecting Scurry’s eye infection: “My eye
is blue and yukky. I am NOT a dog.”


3V0935.01 Reading About Letters (8/14/80)

In Richard Scary’s “Great Big School House,” an extended section is
developed around the alphabet. Peggy was reading this section quietly
to herself today when Robby’s friend Billy came for a visit. He joined
Peggy on the floor for a while, asked if she knew her letters or
numbers. Peggy later asked me to read that same section to her.

A few days later, Gretchen was drawn into read[ing] about those same letters.
Peggy must often work hard to amuse herself. She has no nearby or
coeval playmates. When she cannot persuade a more grown up person
to play with her, “reading” is often an activity of choice and her focus
is often on individual letters. Everybody she meets knows how to
“read” letters.


3V0935.02 Time: “Tomorrow went BOOP; Mimi did it.” (8/14/80)

With my irregular schedule, days are much like one another. There is
no daily grinds for me and no unusual weekend for Peggy; unusual in
Daddy’s being home. Today and yesterday are not words I’ve heard her
use. She does know that “tomorrow” is a time word, however, as this
incident shows.

Since my fixing my MG, we have regularly gone on post-supper
excursions to Jacob’s beach where Peggy rides the “horsie” swings. (She
refers to the beach as the “fair” because she rode horses on the merry
go round at the St. George’s Carnival some few weeks back — the other
children referred to that carnival as “the fair.”) One of those evenings,
Miriam and Peggy waited in the car while I got my wallet from the
house. While inside, I heard the horn blowing. Upon my return,
Miriam explained that Peggy had been blowing the horn. This evening,
we drove to the beach playground again. At some point, Peggy
climbed in the boot and said “Tomorrow went BOOP — Mimi did it.” She
was referring to the horn blowing incident, using the word tomorrow to
refer to “yesterday” and marking the completedness of the action by
tense of the verb.


3V0935.03 Growing big to be a daddy (8/14/80)

A few weeks ago Peggy mentioned she would grow big to be a Daddy.
I agreed she would grow big but that she would grow big like a Mommy
because she was a girl, would not grow big like a Daddy. Later, she
indicated a preference for growing big like Robby, not like Miriam.
As we drove to Jacob’s Beach, Peggy mentioned “I growing big like
Mimi”, and “I eat you up,” a phrase from “Where the Wild Things Are,”
a book we own and a movie Peggy saw the preceding Saturday at the


3V0935.04 Metalinguistic knowledge: “‘belongs’, I know that word” (8/14/80)

Peggy inquired at one point why something was where I had put it. I
said, “Because it belongs there.” Peggy responded, “Belongs… I know
that word.”


3V0935.05 Knock-knock: “timber” precedes “timber who?”

When she finished supper early, Peggy gets down from her high chair
but often hangs around the table. This evening she crawled under and
played by herself. Miriam asked, “Knock knock.: and Gretchen and
Robby together answered “Who’s there?” Miriam answered “Tim.”
A small but positive voice from under the table continued “Timber.”

Protected: P133

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: