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Beyond mechanistic interaction: value-based constraints on meaning in language

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ABSTRACT

According to situated, embodied, and distributed approaches to cognition, language is a crucial means for structuring social interactions. Recent approaches that emphasize this coordinative function treat language as a system of replicable constraints on individual and interactive dynamics. In this paper, we argue that the integration of the replicable-constraints approach to language with the ecological view on values allows for a deeper insight into processes of meaning creation in interaction. Such a synthesis of these frameworks draws attention to important sources of structuring interactions beyond the sheer efficiency of a collective system in its current task situation. Most importantly, the workings of linguistic constraints will be shown as embedded in more general fields of values, which are realized on multiple timescales. Because the ontogenetic timescale offers a convenient window into the emergence of linguistic constraints, we present illustrations of concrete mechanisms through which values may become embodied in language use in development.

No MeSH data available.


Video grabs corresponding to Example 1, transcript lines 25 and 26.
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Figure 5: Video grabs corresponding to Example 1, transcript lines 25 and 26.

Mentions: Later in the sequence, in line 25, after a relatively long pause (2.1 s), the infant produces two vocalizations separated by a short pause. The first of the vocalizations is longer than her other vocalizations (2.1 s), and it also has a vocalic quality, in contrast with her other vocalizations in the sequence, which are mostly consonantal. Figures 5f–h illustrate the mother's reaction to this vocalization. In Figure 5f, the mother is looking up to the infant. In Figure 5g, the mother is intensifying her display of attentiveness by looming in on the infant and moving her head forward. In Figure 5h, the mother initiates an upward half-nod, preparing to say the “aha” that follows in line 26, but she holds the position for the duration of the vocalization, waiting for the infant to speak out before she reacts, thus making the infant's contribution even more valuable. In line 26, she utters the prolonged continuer “aha” (eng. “uhum”) and returns to a neutral position (Figure 5i).


Beyond mechanistic interaction: value-based constraints on meaning in language
Video grabs corresponding to Example 1, transcript lines 25 and 26.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4624848&req=5

Figure 5: Video grabs corresponding to Example 1, transcript lines 25 and 26.
Mentions: Later in the sequence, in line 25, after a relatively long pause (2.1 s), the infant produces two vocalizations separated by a short pause. The first of the vocalizations is longer than her other vocalizations (2.1 s), and it also has a vocalic quality, in contrast with her other vocalizations in the sequence, which are mostly consonantal. Figures 5f–h illustrate the mother's reaction to this vocalization. In Figure 5f, the mother is looking up to the infant. In Figure 5g, the mother is intensifying her display of attentiveness by looming in on the infant and moving her head forward. In Figure 5h, the mother initiates an upward half-nod, preparing to say the “aha” that follows in line 26, but she holds the position for the duration of the vocalization, waiting for the infant to speak out before she reacts, thus making the infant's contribution even more valuable. In line 26, she utters the prolonged continuer “aha” (eng. “uhum”) and returns to a neutral position (Figure 5i).

View Article: PubMed Central

ABSTRACT

According to situated, embodied, and distributed approaches to cognition, language is a crucial means for structuring social interactions. Recent approaches that emphasize this coordinative function treat language as a system of replicable constraints on individual and interactive dynamics. In this paper, we argue that the integration of the replicable-constraints approach to language with the ecological view on values allows for a deeper insight into processes of meaning creation in interaction. Such a synthesis of these frameworks draws attention to important sources of structuring interactions beyond the sheer efficiency of a collective system in its current task situation. Most importantly, the workings of linguistic constraints will be shown as embedded in more general fields of values, which are realized on multiple timescales. Because the ontogenetic timescale offers a convenient window into the emergence of linguistic constraints, we present illustrations of concrete mechanisms through which values may become embodied in language use in development.

No MeSH data available.