Saturday, 1 October 2016

Pre-Language: No Distinction Between Symbolic And Non-Symbolic Acts

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 611-2):
Newborn children can exchange attention with their mothers, addressing them and recognising that they are being addressed by them; the infant’s whole body is actively involved in the exchange. This is “pre-language” (“pre-meaning”, even “pre-text”): but it is not language — no distinction is yet being made between symbolic and non-symbolic acts.