Social Interaction, Social Context, and Language: Essays in Honor of Susan Ervin-Tripp

By Dan Isaac Slobin; Julie Gerhardt et al. | Go to book overview

(23-29, 35-42, 118-125) and five (77-90, 91-106, 107-117). The final sequence of five turns (126-138) has an extravagant three pairs within its fifth turn.

Scene [iii] of Act I is puzzling. The last five lines are a clear stanza, introduced by a change of topic and explicit address (72-76). The three pairs of turns at talk just before (64-71) have coherence, three questions answered with "OK," but do follow directly on what precedes. Perhaps what precedes is a five element stanza (55-63), but it seems more likely that 64-65 is a Janus-faced turn, counting doubly, implicitly at least, so that line 64 completes three pairs with 55-63.

Sometimes the initial group is more complex than others (17-20, 43-47, 48-50, [this might alternatively be three pairs], 77-81).

There is one more written story:
[4]
Once upon a time I was playing Atari
and my TV disappeared
so I told my mom
and my mom called the police
The policeman said
    he'd be over in a second.
5
So he rang the bell
and he came in
and said he might know
    where everything is going.
10
so he caught the robber
and put him in Jail
the end.

Himley points out that this is summary, not narrative, and more typical of written language in having exposition, not dialogue (164). Even so, it is shaped as if it were oral. It has five parts. An introduction (1-2) and close (13) enclose three units, each marked with initial so (3-5, 6-10, 11-12).


REFERENCES

Dickinson, D., Wolf, M., & Stotsky, S. ( 1993). The interwoven development of oral and written language. In J. B. Gleason (Ed.), The development of language ( 3rd ed., pp. 369-420). New York: Macmillan.

Gee, J. P. ( 1989). Literacy, discourse, and linguistics. Essays by James Paul Gee. Special issue of Journal of Education, 171, 1.

Gee, J. P. ( 1991). A linguistic approach to narrative. Journal of Narrative and Life History; 1, 15-40.

Gee, J. P. ( 1992). The social mind. Language, ideology, and social practice. New York: Bergin & Garvey.

Himley, M. ( 1991). Shared territory: Understanding children's writing as works. New York: Oxford University Press.

Hymes, D. ( 1991a). Is poetics original and functional? Language and Communication, 11(½), 49-51.

-110-

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