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Seeing Language in Sign The Work of William C. Stokoe (Jane Maher) (Z-Library)
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Page x could follow, keeping individuals, interaction, society, and culture out of their descriptions of "the language organ" and its function. I find Chomsky the man charming but his linguistics deterministic and cold. I realized deaf people signing were using language not by discovering their generative rules but by seeing that they were acting like social beings. I still chafe at the mechanistic view too many sign language linguists take.
The passionate tone, the insistence on the human, cultural dimension of language, reminded me very much of the first letter I
had got from the great neuropsychologist AR. Luria, when he spoke of "the dry, mechanical thinking of my friend B. F.
Skinner," and insisted that language arose through interaction, dialogically, between mother and child. Stokoe ended his letter,
"This is just the first installment of that further contact you mention" and there then followed (in away which delighted meI am somewhat prone to such additions myself) a postscript three times as long as the letter, in a very different mode, a mode of the richest association and imagery. I had written a case history in The Man Who Mistook his Wife fora Hat on involuntary memories (Reminiscence, and this led Bill to speak of his own experience of such memories, the total way in which they could transport him:
At first the moments of reminiscence, being transported into complete scenes, were easily identified they happened just before falling asleep, just after waking, or post coitus. Later they flashed into my mind ad libitum, as I sat writing, paused in thought, as I was eating, driving, mowing the lawn. . . . There seems to be time always inmost any activity to have my attention switched to these other places and times, as if consciousness had a special-effects generator feeding a split screen from one remote and one attached camera. There is no sensation of split, though. I can contemplate the where, who,
what's happening, and more while fully aware of immediate surroundings.
Sometimes at table I say to Ruth, for instance, "Were walking up to that street in Zurich where the bridge crosses and the
Heimatwerk store is on the corner" She usually

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