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Archive with last of tag-string W83


3V0581.01 Increased Specificity: 8/26/79;

By now it is clear that Peggy is trying to communicate (orally) on a
wider scale. “Dat, dat, dat” lacked any specificity and soon outran its
usefulness. She then developed a remarkable range by merely varying
the pitch on a neutral syllable [***], repeated several times. Now she
seems to be trying hard to be more specific in her communications,
since pitch has been taken to its limits. Perhaps she has developed this
willingness for oral communication from observing our reactions to
her noises. Attention is prompt, but service is often slow because we
don’t know what she is after. But we question her out loud [is it this,
do you want ____, etc.] trying to find what is on her mind. She can see
that there are many different things to say, and saying the “right”
words leads to swifter and better (from her point) reactions from
others, i.e. she gets what she is after and gets it faster.


3V0581.01 On: [on]: three different applications of “on” similar to concurrent
discriminating uses of [up].: 8/26/79;

This morning Peggy clambered into my bed where I waked from a nap.
She sat beside me, pointing with her right hand at her left upper arm.
She said /”on”/ at least four times in succession. I was much perplexed
at this third application of “on,” thought perhaps Peggy might be here
confusing it with /”arm”/ [arm].

Later Gretchen explained that Peggy’s Holly Hobby doll the day previous
lost an arm and that Gretchen had described it to Peggy (in lieu of
repairing the doll), “Oh, the arm has come off.” Subsequently, when
we played together later, (to discriminate whether she was saying
/”on”/ or /”arm”/) I pointed to Peggy’s left upper arm and said “off.”
She corrected me immediately /”on”/ /”on”/, indicating that she was
not confused at all about what my reference might mean.

Relevance: I find this triple application of “on” striking as it occurs in
conjunction with the similar 3-part discrimination witnessed for “up.”
There is no magic in ‘3’, but if one asks for a next similar, small
number consequent to simple connection of knowledges or division, 3
comes after 2 and seems no more arbitrary than the 5 or 6-fold
duplication Marvin’s theory suggests.


3V0582.01 [up] = “on top of” in play with toy car;
issues ascription of insight about “up”. 8/27/79

Playing with a “matchbox racer”, Peggy pushed the little car along the
floor, up the vertical walls of the glass door, over the dresser and on its
side, making all the while a /ziz/ziz/ziz/ sound (this imitates our
noises made as we move our hands in wide gestures to tickle her).
When she drove her little car over the upper edge of the dresser onto
the horizontal surface, Peggy said to herself [up].

Relevance: in Gretchen’s note of “up” and these two observations, we
see Peggy clearly apply three distinct meanings of “up.” The
occurrence of them within the short time span, and their unsolicited
occurrence, testify that some process of discrimination is at work on
the range of meanings to which “up” is applied. The point I drive to is
an ascription: Peggy has experienced some insight, on of word
comprehensions, which has increased for her the salience of the word
“up.” Using the word “up” for three quite different denotations, she
can thus connect and discriminate the relations instantiated in each of
the three.

In addition to this descriptive use of “up,” Peggy now uses “up” to
signify either that she wants me to hold her (standing), to take her in
my lap or some object from her precendent to her sitting in my lap.


3V0583.01 [me]: contrast with relation words.

This word is significant in contrast with the preceding relation words
because it can only mean one thing. As we five sat at table over lunch
that Peggy at one point turned her finger to her chest, pointing, and
said “me”. I don’t recall the details of context but remarked that her
use of “me” was unequivocal and standard.

One would not expect Peggy to recognize that “me” in another person’s
speech is reflexive… or maybe she would. (Try “me have that”


3V0583.02 [fan]: indistinct initial consonant; her accepting correction. 8/28/79

Terrible, muggy weather with the atmosphere filled with pollen and
mold spores. I set up the fan to pull cold air from the air conditioned
bedroom down to the dining room. Peggy came over to play with the
new object and was warned away because of the danger. She tried to
name it before we did and her best attempt came out as /vaen/. After
a few repetitions of /faen/ (by me), Peggy accepted correction and
referred to the object as /faen/.

Relevance: Peggy’s evident pleasure I interpret as evidence that she
knows she has “caught on” to naming — that even though sounds may
be ever so similar (as /vaen/ and /faen/ and as /faen/ and /caen/, one
can make a one-to-small-number correspondence between words and
possible meanings. (“meanings” here being the names of things or


3V0585.01 TWO : [two]: counting puddles; spontaneous use: 08/30/79;

The kids and I went down to Bishops “Pick your own” raspberries.
While the older two picked, Peggy and I walked up and down the dirt
road to one side of the bushes. It had rained recently, and there were
puddles. Peggy and I pointed them out to each other. She told me
there was “water”, and I agreed, “Yes, puddles of water”. “Pud-duh”,
repeated Peggy. At a particularly big one, :There’s a big puddle,
Peggy”. After an instant, Peggy said “Doo”. Surely enough, there was a
second small puddle right next to the large one. “That’s right, Peg.
There are TWO puddles of water. One, two.” Gretchen.


3V0586.01 [me]: clear and specific example of use. 8/31/79

“Me” Coming to me at bedtime to be picked up, after a hug and my
turning her back to Gretchen, Peggy pointed perpendicularly at the
porch and made an exclamation of surprise. I could see nothing but
furniture on the porch and asked “What do you see, Peggy ?” “Me”, she


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.


3V0586.03 [doos, doos] = juice 8/31/79

Miriam was in the kitchen, fooling around with the refrigerator. As she
began closing it, Peggy ran in from the living room crying [doos…doos].
It took me a moment to realize what she meant; then I called after her,
“Juice ? Do you want some juice, Peggy ?” She replied with an
affirmative noise, and Miriam gave her some orange juice. Gretchen.


3V0587.01 /cul’/du/vae/vae’/: CENTRAL INCIDENT;
major insight ascribed on basis of incident. 9/1/79

Over the past several weeks, our house has suffered a greater than
usual density and flux of Tintin cartoon books. As do the older kids,
Peggy enjoys them. She brings a magazine, says /aen//aen/ and
convinces one to hold her in his lap while she turns the pages and
points to various figures with little squeals of delight. Her favorite
character is “Snowy”, the little white dog and Tintin’s persistent
companion. When she points to the dog, we tell her it’s “Snowy”, but
Peggy has settled on her own term /cuhlduh/ (variously /cai/duh/ and
/cai/dae/ as her name for Snowy.

Now Peggy has in the past referred to our Scotty as [Scurry] (more or
less) and most recently used /vae/vae/ to refer to Scurry or some
distant barking dog. The point is that /vae/vae/ seems more related to
barking than to “dogginess” as such. One might think of her use
nominally as equivalent to “barker.” Therefore /cul/duh/ seemed
merely a new and different name for Snowy… but we were fooled, for
Peggy began to call Scurry /cul/duh/ and now does so regularly.

This evening, Peggy sat in my lap for a while. Scurry was waiting to be
taken out for her evening walk and Gretchen took the dog on her lap to
groom her a little. This is unusual and Peggy pointed at her /cul/duh/
(she said). Peggy got down, wandered off and behind my chair. The
dog began to growl on hearing a distant bark. Peg pointed at her
excitedly /vae/vae/, /vae/vae/. I responded in her tongue:
/cul/duh/vae/vae/, at which Peggy’s face lit up with a broad beaming
smile (so Gretchen notes and described it; I was looking the other way.)

Relevance: We both recognize this as an exciting moment of insight
into verbal communication for Peggy. She wanted to very much to
express her meaning “the dog barks”: but could not except by pointing
and saying /vae/vae/ simultaneously. My expression exemplified how
serial order expresses the subject-predicate relation in her vocabulary
and context. I judged then, and still hold (9/9/79), that this incident
marks the beginning of Peggy’s knowledge of generative syntax. That
is, here, Peggy learned how to assemble subject and predicate to
express a thought already formed, as distinct from expressing
idiomatically a thought “associable” with the idiom. I take this to be
one of the most important observations in this record.


3V0587.02 [I threw it]:

Before the incident described above (in Vignette V0586A), Peggy,
Gretchen and I sat in the living room, Peggy playing with Gretchen’s
wallet. She picked it up and threw it across the room, under a chair. I
censured her “No, Peggy, no. Don’t do that.” She responded, talking to
herself it seems [I threw it]

The difficulty in interpreting this utterance is its lack of clarity (my
memory also). Was the vowel /o/ or /u/ ? or did I say “Don’t throw
things.” Did this really happen before the preceding incident or after it ?
Gretchen ? (no note made in response.)


Peggy Study, Panel P083

Themes: Reading, Object Exploration, Language Development
Source: (Lawler); date: 8/27/1979

Text commentary: These clips show how much Peggy controlled the activity recorded (if there was any question about that)..

P83A1 Wanting to Read, 8mb

P83A2 Wanting to Read, 23mb

P83B1 Building Blocks, 19mb

P83B2 Building Blocks, 24mb

P83C1 Reading with GPL, 19mb

P83C2 Reading with GPL, 19mb

P83D1 Standard Objects, 20mb

P83D2 Standard Objects, 13mb

P83D3 Standard Objects with GPL, 3mb