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Archive with last of tag-string W54

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?”)

3V0380.2

3V0380.02 Prosodic features dominate sounds in meaning 2/6/79

Peggy’s name — At supper this [evening] Gretchen and I discussed with Robby what words Peggy knew. The question arose when Robby asserted that surely she knew her name. I argued that her response when I said “Peggy” was to the prosodic features and not to the name as such. I said “Peggy” in the tone in which I censure our dog Scurry — and Peggy did not respond. I asked Robby to call her using any other name. He tried “Murgatroyd”; Peggy looked at him and smiled. Going further, I called “bazz fazz”. Peggy turned again. I stopped his going further.

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/.

3V0384.2

3V0384.02 Usage extension; second person agent of imperative 2/10/79

Peggy and I have passed pipe stems back and forth for quite a while. Long ago we began the giving game. That is, when she offered a pipe stem (or some other object to me) I would take it, say “Thank you” and return it with the statement “Here.” At times Peggy has wanted me to take a pipe stem from her when I have been reluctant (recall her still on-going cold); in such cases, she has tried to simply push the pipe stem end into my mouth.

Peggy has used /hae/[th]aet/ as an emphatic form meaning “I want to have that.” She has also used it to mean “I have that.” Sitting in my lap today, she took a pipe stem and held it out to me. /hae/[th]aet/ she said in a commanding voice. (The declarative “I have that” has a different, lower level of stress.) Here the extension of this imperative usage is from the implicit agent being Peggy to its being me — the person spoken to.

3V0384.3

3V0384.03 Salience of her name in her interpretations; vocative “dada” 2/10/79

Peggy will respond to a voice calling with an intonation like that used in calling her name. Evidence of her understanding names can be [of] other sorts. The rare example from P53 [Egg Peggy] is one strong sign that her own name is a significant potential meaning for her to which she will try to fit parts of an utterance she is trying to understand. A second strong point of evidence is Peggy’s use (in the future, if not convincingly yet) of other’s names. The closest approach so far was in this incident today.

Gretchen returned from a downtown trip. She brought in Peggy and left her sitting on the floor in the infant seat while she returned to close the door. Peggy was most unhappy in the seat and even more so to be abandoned. As I walked across the room before her she cried out /dae/dae/ – /dae/dae/ — and smiled broadly when I turned to her.

P054

Peggy Study, Panel P054

Themes: Pictures, Giving Letters, Standard Objects
Source: (Lawler); date: 2/5/1979

Title:
Text commentary: These clips show reaction to pictures, use of letters and play with objects; this session half usual length.



P54A Picture Gallery, 17mb


P54B1 Talk & Pictures, 20mb


P54B2 Giving Letters, 17mb


P54C Standard Objects, 23mb