·

·

Entangling Forms


AutorMerrell, Floyd, 1937-
PealkiriEntangling forms : within semiosic processes / by Floyd Merrell
IlmunudBerlin ; New York : De Gruyter Mouton, c2010
Linkhttp://tartu.ester.ee/record=b2525613~S1*est
ViideMerrell, Floyd 2010. Entangling forms: within semiosic processes. Berlin; New York: De Gruyter Mouton.

List of abbreviations
  • OAH = Object, Act, and/or Happening. A sign (representamen) interacts with its respective semiotic OAH (in Peirce studies customarily called the sign's object) during which process the OAH becomes the sign's Other, and both sign and OAH are mediated by the sign's interpretant (interpretation through co-participation of the sign and its interpreter). Thus there are three components to the fully developed sign.
  • CCC = Contradictory Complementary Coalescence, or Contradictorily Complementarily Coalescent. Signs, as well as imaginary mental worlds and the physical world, are intricately interconnected, such that they complement one another, even though they might otherwise have been conceived as contradictory, and they converge toward and merge with one another by way of coalescent processing.
  • i-i-i- = Interdependency, Interaction, Interrelatedness, or Interdependently, Interactively, Interrelated. Signs are, as possibilities, interdependent; as possibilities having become actualized they are interactive; and as navigators within the semiosic process, they are complexly, divergently, and convergently interrelated (Peirce CP 6.272-86).
  • BSO = The concept that what is, is becoming something other than what it was becoming. In a word: process (of the nature of C.S. Peirce's theory of 'continuity') (Peirce CP 6.102-185).
  • EZ = Zero ('nothingness, 'emptiness') conjoined with the empty set of 'set theory' (silence, a blank page). It is a matter of 'pre-language', or 'pre-semiotic', as purely possible possibilities, before any signifying process has begun emerging. It is comparable to what C.S. Peirce labeled 'nothingness' (Peirce CP 6.189-222).
  • LW = Living World (the macro-level, empirical 'physicla world', and its depiction as a 'semiotic world').
  • QW = Quantum World (the micro-level counterpart to LW).

Having said this much, one of my aims in this inquiry is to illustrate the importance of bodymind doing and meaning through socio-proprioceptive-somatic-kinesthetic interdependency, interrelatedness and interaction (i-i-i) between ourselves and (1) our inner dialogue, (2) our dialogue with others, and (3) our dialogue with our physical world. When I write 'dialogue', I by no means limit my dialogic imagination to words, whether spoken or written or thought. In addition to language, 'dialogue' involves basic signs of sound, touch, taste, smell, and sight, much in the sense of Antonio Damasio (1994, 2000). And when I write 'socio-proprioceptive-somatic-kinesthetic interdependency, interrelatedness and interaction' (i-i-i), I allude to our complementarity and our co-participation with all signs and all signs with us. For, in the final analysis, we are signs ourselves, signs among signs. (Merrell 2010: 3)
The notion of bodymind is neat. Otherwise, his love of cumbersome notions stacked one after another makes him a mystic semiotician. Although complex notions, tied together like that, they become very vague and that seems to be the exact purpose for doing this. In this book, vagueness is good.
During the coming and going of our concrete everyday experiences, we interdepend on, we interrelate and interact with, and we reflect upon, myriad OAHs: my car, this book, that building, a brief conversation on the sidewalk, a newspaper article, a game of touch football in the park, and so on. I add the expression 'reflect upon', because when we first interact with the OAHs in our environment, we do not initially encounter them in a reflective way, but in a pre-reflective manner. That is, our bodies respond to certain vague aspects of the world, but these aspects are not yet OAHs elevated to conscious levels as signs of something, for us, in some respect or other. In other words, at the pre-reflective level, OAHs do not (yet) exist as items of our experience. This, once again, raises the question: What precedes what with respect to bodymind, OAHs, and the world? (Merrell 2010: 5)
This is a somewhat familiar process in nonverbal communication. The major question revolves around how external events (OAHs) become internal signs.
In our general everyday extralinguistic activities as well, we improvise at every turn. We most often seem to do it without thinking. At times we have a minor 'flash of insight' that leads us spontaneously to create some utterance, idea, physical activity, or way of doing what we're doing. At other times, we are in a period of mild to intensive concentration, and the 'flash' comes to us as if out of the clear blue. A playwright, composer, novelist, or painter, or a mathematician or scientist, might have a major 'flash of insight', when a new idea suddenly reveals itself; then, it may take her months or even years of work to bring it to fruition. During that time she is requires to keep the insight fresh in her mind: she socializes with it, works with it, plays with it, eats with it, attends to her biological functions with it, and sleeps with it, until it's the way she wants it. The finished work - actually that's a misnomer, since a work is never really finished - expands on that original momentary 'flash'. But the expansion doesn't stop thre. Onlookers and listeners and readers and critics expand on the expansion, and alter it considerably. (Merrell 2010: 13)
Improvisation in extralinguistic activity. The description made me remember my own 'flash of insight' concerning avoidance in human behaviour as a semiotic phenomenon, but it will take years before anything becomes of it.
Access to the deeper environs of musing, within one's own 'reality', the 'social reality' of one's community, and one's 'physical reality', can only be adequately fathomed by wordless feeling, emoting, intuiting, imagining, and sensing, what is within one's self, within the multiple selves making up one's community, and with all aspects of one's physical world. However, language, whatever language, whether logic, mathematics, Boolean computer formalism, or natural language, is what it is only with respect to what it is not. And what is this wordless is not with respect to what language is? No more than a possible sign, emerging from the 'Empty Set' (silence, a blank page), and at the furthest extreme, from 'Zero', 'nothingness', 'emptiness' (a combination of the 'Empty Set' and 'Zero' will be designated EZ). In other words, it is 'pre-semiotic', 'pre-languae', 'pre-Firstness'. It lies outside consciousness and self-consciousness, outside awareness of signs becoming other signs (Bae 1988, Brier 2008b, also merrell 1998, 2003, 2007). (Merrell 2010: 24)
Another drop in the already quite filled (but not yet overflowing) pool of discussion on the limits of semiotic reality. Are the wordless sensations outside of it? Are they 'nothingness'?
The plurimorphic process is a matter of creativity. How so? It begins with that syncopated Threeness, when there's a feeling of something as yet unspecified and perhaps unspecifiable. Then, fingers do the walking, eyes do the probing and scanning, and ears, nose and tongue do the sensing, when the proprioceptive, kinesthetic, somatic body does the talking, in its silent, nonverbal way. During such spontaneous corporeal activity and nonverbal dialogue, mind is not just along for the ride. Mind and body, as a complementary plurimorphic whole, enters the creative vortex. (Merrell 2010: 36)
A brief note on bodymind & creativity.
Language and thinking are obviously of utmost importance to the process of human experience. But the notion of body, given its inherent proprioceptive, somatic, and kinesthetic nature, is not merely a linguistically garbed notion, nor is it suspectible to thinking as formulated in words, words, and more words. There is always something else, something that eludes disembodied thinking, something that by and large remains unspecifiable in language. This proprioceptive, somatic, kinesthetic nature of the body, its CCC, its i-i-i-, its BSO, and its having only barely begun taking its leave of EZ as it begins emerging into the light of day, is something language simply cannot adequately fathom. (Merrell 2010: 42)
It seems that this last proposition is vague enough to be controvertible.
All this is to say that bodymind feelings and sensations entail: (1) proprioception (through sensory receptors chiefly in muscles, tendons, and joints, that respond to stimuli emerging within the organism), (2) sometogenesis (sensations emerging within the body as a result of the OAHs presented to it in its CCC, and i-i-i- within its environment that is in the BSO process), and (3) kinesthetics (sensation of bodily position, presence and movement resulting from stimulation of nerve endings from muscles, tendons, and joints). These sources of feelings and sensations - within processual Firstness and Secondness - involve entire contexts, and contexts of contexts, that include past contexts, present contexts in interatice interrelation with other contexts, and future contexts that are likely to emerge, given past experiences, predispositions and proclivities, presuppositions and prejudices, and expectations regarding what is most probable and what is least probable.
For example, assume one evening you are driving on a rather secluded twolane country road along the ocean. The road winds along mountainous terrain arising abruptly from the ocean, with a steep drop to the narrow beach stewn with rocks some 500 yards below. And, ... what's that? There's a car behind bearing down on you. The car's weaving from one side to the other leads you to think the driver must be drunk or drugged. It's rapidly approaching your vehicle; it must be exceeding the 55 miles per hour speed limit by twenty or so. Your right foot spontaneously twitches a little on the accelerator pedal, varying the quantity of gasoline injecting into the engine. You don't twitch your foot. It twitches. Your right foot is primed to switch from the accelerator to the brake pedal at a fraction of a second's notive. Your left foot is arched upward, positioned for jumping into action and pressing down on the clutch in case of an emergency compelling you to change gears with lightning quickness. You don't arch your foot. It arches. Your eyes dark back and forth between the rear-view mirror and the road ahead. You don't dark them. They dart. Your back is tense, your neck tendons stand out, your head is erect. You don't do all this. Bodymind does it. All the while, you - now it's you, torpid, languorous, hesitating, caillating, you, via your mind-state - are debating over what you should do. Speed up in an effort to lose him? - why do you assume it's a him? Pull over to the side of the road? - but there's hardly any 'side of the road'; there's only an abrupt drop. Slow down so he'll pass you? - and risk his car slamming into yours. Continue as if nothing out of the ordinary is happening? - but something is happening, and your life is in jeopardy!
You are, mentally and consciously speaking, carrying on an inner dialogue with yourself. Meanwhile, body, bodymind, is doing what it does best, always poised and ready for rapid-fire responses to whatever unexpected conditions might pop up. (Merrell 2010: 45-46)
A very lenghty example of automatic behaviour.
During the coming and going of our everyday affairs, we ordinarily pay the equivalent of Hempel's Inductivity Paradox little mind. We just take the furniture of our world as we believe we should take it, with 'acritical indubitability'. In so doing, we do what we do best, and get on with life. We cut the world up as we go along. We send and take, and engender and translate signs. We compare new experiences to old ones, and pack signs into the pigeon-holes with which we have become comfortable, in spite of the risk we constantly run that what we take to be correct from out vantage point might well be absurd from another vantage point. Consequently, we use our customary set of categories to classify virtually everything there is, that is, everything in our world that we cut out, distinguish, and indicate by means of the standard categories of our particular community. For every item of experience, we abductively fashion and fabricate some similarity between out present item of experience and our memory of past experiences, and we usually manage to find a fit, deductively and inductively, for that similarity. If there is apparently no fit, then it's time for that wily trickster in abductive dress to bring about something new as a result of the surprising nonfit, and then we appropriately revise out set of categories. (Merrell 2010: 73)
A note on signs and culture - I take the "pigeon-holes with which we have become comfortable" to be adapted from cultural heritage.
In this manner, taking a cue from Polanyi once again, your focal attention to signs can at any moment take in or suffer displacement by subsidiary or possible signs, for those possible signs always exercise an influence, however slight, on the whole of all other possible signs and actual signs wihtin their particular timespace context. But in your frightening experience of a car rapidly heading in your direction, few subsidiary possible signs will likely be actualized, for you have one focal objective and only one: Get the hell off the street! (Merrell 2010: 116)
The distribution of attention in semiotic terms. These are handy notions.
Unfortunately, many of today's popular (neo)pragmatist notions of the self as a web of narratives, of human being as vocabularies incarnate, of mind as sentential, smacks of a strong dose of what we might call 'textualist essentialism'. Perhaps they should look more seriously at concrete experience, that which Dewey lionized and Rorty replaced with language. I allude to 'sensing corporeally', or what Richard Shusterman (1992, 1997) calls 'somatic' sensing and experiencing, following William James and Dewey. I also allude, once again, to the work of Merleau-Ponty. Kinesthetic, somatic, proprioceptive, visceral, corporeal awareness is a matter of everyday experience. It is polymorphous bodymind experience. It is with us in all walks of life - and this includes reading and writing books, and pontificating in the classroom as well. Indeed, in the beginning there was not the Word, but exceedingly more humble kinesthetic, somatic, proprioceptive visceral awareness and corporeal functions and bodily moves and rhythms, swings and swerves (Sheets-Johnstone 1999). It would behoove us to concede that before shutting our eyes, ears, noses, tongues and bodies to concrete living and pronouncing death to the body in order to lay it to rest with the deceased subject, and before obsessively textualizing everything, we might ask why (neo)pragmatists so often resist extralinguistic sensing and experiencing. Why don't they, why can't they, give bodymind its due? (Sheets-Johnstone 1992).
One response is that sensing and experiencing seem to place us squarely within the 'myth of the given', of 'presence'. That seems to be lurking behind Rorty's response. For sure, the bodymind option is ignored by Rorty's argument for banishing nonlinguistic experience. He fears that introducing somatic experience into philosophical practice would undermine philosophy's distinctive role and logical space by confusing between causes and reasons. This argument again concerns the 'myth of the given'. For in this myth, nondiscursive bodily sensation - which may be antecedent cause of knowing something (e.g. a burning sensation resulting in awareness that the plate is hot) - is falsely taken for a sort of reason that justifies such knowledge, a reason that seems irrefutable by its brute immediacy. But nondiscursive experience cannot, as such, play a role in language-games of epistemological justification, whose regimentation has always been philosophy's distinctive task. Nondiscursive experience may give rise to knowledge, but it isn't exactly the breeding ground for discursive knowledge. The breeding ground, I would submit, rests in our concrete physical world and concrete living. (Merrell 2010: 131-132)
This discussion relates to the corporeal turn (cf. linguistic turn, cultural turn, etc.), which I would posit in the 1950s-1970s with the advent of nonverbal communication research in social sciences, but more likely concerns human sciences in later decades which I am not yet familiar with.
Sign Common example
R1O1I1 Feeling of blueness...
R2O1I1 Vague sense of a form or shape (a spherical object)...
R2O2I1 Vague awareness of something, but it is still indefinite (a sense of the sphere of more or less brilliant ball size)
R2O2I2 Awareness that a spherical blue object is on a flat green background...
R3O1I1 Consciousness of a white sphere coming into contact with the blue sphere...
R3O2I1 A spontaneous evocation: 'There!'...
R3O2I2 A commonplace expression: 'Right on!'...
R3O3I1 A word: 'Corner!...
R3O3I2 A stentence: 'I knew it was going in.'...
R3O3I3 An argument or text: 'The cue ball hit it slightly to the right, it angled to the left, and straight as an arrow, into the corner pocket. ...'
"Table 1. Peirce's 10 classes of signs" with common examples by Merrell.
An illustration, if you will

Assume you're waking up from an afternoon nap. you have the vague feeling of a sound. It continues for no more than a fraction of a second. That's all. You just feel it. You are not really consciously aware of it, nor can you (yet) identify it with any sound with which you are familiar, for at any moment you are not aware of any other sounds with which you can compare and contrast it. The sound just is. Nothing more. It is a bare sign of possibility, a qualisign, R1O1I1.
A split second after hearing the first sound segment, another sound siggles your eardrums. it is something like da da, ... in a sort of boundy way. The first da leaps slightly up the scale to meet the second one, it seems, though the interrelations between the two sounds remain vague: sign R2O1I1. With cobwebs still in your mind as you are trying to get in tune with your environment, you hear da da, ... da da, ... . Suddenly you feel you are onto something. But not really, not yet at least. It's somehow familiar, but you can't (yet) attach a label to it and categorize it: sign R2O2I1. Now your attention is on the sign and turned to the possibility of some linear string of sounds flowing along from the initial da da, ... da da, ... . toward something else. It goes on, like da da, da da, da da, da da, da da, da da, da daaaaa, ... What is it? It's, ... uh. Oh! Is that what it is? That familiar tune. You know what it is, but you still can't quite put your finger on it: Sign R2O2I2. Ah yes! - the first indication of Thirdness of the sign enters your mind. Yes, it must be 'The Pink Panther', you sense. But at this stage you're only aware of the tune's familiarity, and no more. You haven't (yet) had a change to slap a linguistic label on the string of notes. The string doesn't (yet) have a name. You've barely entered sign R3O1I1.
Suppose you're now committed to the hazy process of lifting yourself up from the sofa where you were taking a snooze and you catch a glimpse of your roommate, your spouse, or a friend. You are wondering where the couple of bars of music came from and why they didn't continue. You blurt out: 'That!' - in reference to the notes you heard. The other person responds: 'That what? What do you mean?' You emitted a solitary pronoun, which doesn't say much: sign R3O2I1. Yet it implies a more developed sign. You pay no attention to the inquisitive look sent your way, as if you had no clue with respect to what you had in mind when you blurted out 'That!'. But you know, and you know you know. So you tell your companion: 'I knew it'. You knew what? You're still not saying much, no more than a simple commonplace expression: sign R3O2I2. So you move on, with a name: 'Mancini'. Now you are into more explicit symbolic signs: a solitary word, or sign R3O3I1. But 'Mancini' doesn't qualify the series of musical notes you heard. So you utter a sentence: 'That's "Pink Panther" by Mancini', sign R3O3I2. Your companion inquires. You accomodate her/him with an explanation: 'Well, I was still napping when I heard. ..., and then...', sign R3O3I3.
This example patterns the 'ontogenetic' development of an individual sign. It involved your conscious and self-conscious awareness of the sign as a sign of something in some respect, the sign's respective other, which entails complexification of the original iconic sign when emerging into indexicality and symbolicity. 'Phylogenetic' evolution of signs follows a more general path regarding conventional signs in the human community, from roughly hewn icons to indices to spoken and written symbols, all having become properly entrenched and habituated. In order for this process to be possible, everything, including possible possibilities, possible signs, actual signs, and signs having attained a developed stage of symbolicity, must be intricately entangled. (Merrell 2010: 205-206).
In several courses young semioticians have to know this for the exam, but the examples are scant (a table is given here). I believe this is a useful illustration for the 10 categories.
[footnote No. 91] Using formal terminology, Peirce classifies the final three signs, chiefly of symbolic nature, as 'terms', 'propositions', and 'aguments'. However, on occasion he alludes to these signs in a less formal context as 'words', 'sentences', and 'books' (or 'texts') (CP 5.73) (Merrell 2010: 205
If Argument symbol legisign or R3O3I3 is a text, this may be a valuable connection between Peircean semiotics and Tartu semiotics.
Peirce was a triadomaniac. Everything must come in threes. Why? One reason among many is because three breads not simple orderliness but tension, and hence it becomes the author of change. How so? The number one, like a circle or a sphere, is wholeness, perfect symmetry. No matter how you rotate it, it remains the same. The numbers two and four are also relatively symmetrical, though their symmetry is blemished somewhat, since they have lost some of their rotational symmetry. Three, in contrast, is able to offer relatively little symmetry. And that is what Peirce wants. Asymmetry, imbalance, such that perpetual movement - change - is necessary to keep things in a more or less steady keel. But in order for this to be possible, there must be improvisation, that is, change of change as timespace contexts vary. (Merrell 2010: 145-146)
Peirce wants (notice the present progressive tense) asymmetry. Comparing this with the Tartu-Moscow school of semiotics, it seems that they wanted "relative symmetry" (cf. Lotman's contention that culture, texts and other semiotic phenomena present two sides (two hemispheres, if you will) on all levels).
  • Boler, John 1964. Habits of thought. In E.c. Moore and R.S. Robin (eds.), Studies in the Philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce, 382-400. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.
  • Damasio, Antonio 1994. Descarte's Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain. New York: G. P. Putnam. TÜR
  • Damasio, Antonio 2000. The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness. New York: Harcourt Brace. TÜR
  • Danesi, Marcel and Thomas A. Sebeok 1999. The Forms of Meaning: Modeling Systems Theory and Semiotic Analysis. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. TÜR
  • Gendlin, Eugene T. 1991a. Thinking beyond patterns: Body, language and situations. In B. den Ouden and M. Moens (eds.), The Presence of Feeling in Thought, 25-151. New York: Peter Lang.
  • Polanyi, Michael 1958. Personal Knowledge. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. TÜR
  • Sheets-Johnstone, Maxine (ed.) 1992. Giving the Body Its Due. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  • Sheets-Johnstone, Maxine 1999. The Primacy of Movement. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. TÜR

Homo Loquens


AutorFry, Dennis Butler
PealkiriHomo loquens : man as a talking animal / Dennis Fry
IlmunudCambridge [etc.] : Cambridge University Press, 1977
Linkhttp://tartu.ester.ee/record=b2570945~S1*est
ViideFry, Dennis 1977. Homo Loquens: Man as a Talking Animal. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

It will be abundantly clear to all those who are int he trade, who are of course equally intelligent but not laymen, that the information embodied in this book is culled from a thousand different sources and derived from a great many different people. The reason for not citing these in the text will be obvious enough: nothing is gained by loading the pages with a massog names which have no previous associations for the majority of readers and will probably have been forgotten by them as soon as they have turned the page. The omission of references certainly does not imply any lack of gratitude on the part of the present author towards all those whose work in the past as well as the present time provides the basis for what we know about speech and language. There is a Sechuana proverb which, translates as nearly as may be, sais 'A man is not a man save with the help of others' and this is true with respect to any man's professional life just as it is in his physical, personal and social life. (Fry 1977: I)
By far the best introduction/preface to a book I have met. At this point it would be appropriate to thank Ilse Lehiste, an emigrated Estonian, whose books have travelled to the University of Tartu library, bearing the remark of "Ilse Lehiste pärandist" ("From the inheritance of Ilse Lehiste"), along with this one.
As far as the sound of a message is concerned, the intonation is conveyed mainly by variations in pitch, quite literally the tune of a remark. Some of the tunes in the English intonation system can easily be exemplified by taking a single word and saying it in different ways. In the spoken language it often happens that just one word makes a complete sentence. Try saying aloud the word 'No', first of all as if replying to a question to which the answer is quite definitely 'No'; next say the word itself as a question, asking another person for confirmation that something really is not the case; then third, say the word 'No' again in answer to a question but implying 'not exactly' or 'but on the other hand'. You will have now produced three of the principal tunes that occur in the English intonation system, patterns that are readily recognized by English listeners as conveying the sense that has been just outlined. (Fry 1977: 16-17)
These are indeed easy examples.
The ears themselves, that is the part that is stuck on the outside of the head, no longer have a very important function in our present stage of evolution since we have lost the capacity for pricking up our ears. The external ear does do something, however, as we know when we get to the age for cupping the hand round the ear in order to increase its efficiency in locating a source for sound. (Fry 1977: 61)
Right away I tested this and it seems to hold true - cupping the hand around the ear increases the ability to identify the source of sound.
One interesting and important fact about auditory feedback concerns the nature of the pathways by which we hear our own speech. In these days of the ubiquitious tape-recorder there are a very large number of people who have heard the sound of their own voice coming from a recording machine; among them it is very doubtful if there is a single one who, upon having this experience for the first time, immediately recognized the voice as being his own. This means that the version we hear of our own speech is markedly different from what other people hear. Why is this? The whole of our sound-producing mechanism for speech is in our head and so too is the hearing mechanism. Practically all of what we hear of our own speech travels to our ears through the bones and tissues of our skull and very little of it actually returns from the surrounding air. This acoustic pathway through the head substantially modifies the sound-waves of our speech, materially altering the relative loudness of high and low frequencies, so that we receive an absolutely unique version of the sound, one that is higher and lighter in quality than the version heard by other people. We have as it were a completely private telephone line from out own speech mechanism to our brain; it brings us an impression of our speech which is shared by no one else in the world. In order that we should hear our speech as others hear it, it has to be picked up by a microphone and recorded. The discrepancy between the private and the public version of our speech is so great that not only do we not recognize the public one on first hearing, but no matter how many times we hear our voice recorded, we always retain some impression that it is only 'the one they say is me'. (Fry 1977: 94)
There lingers a shorter and more eloquent version of this in my memory, most likely from an older author, stating something along the lines that "our voice is given to us very differently than those of others". It should be noted that aside from visual and auditory varieties there is also kinaesthetic feedback.
In other experiments with split-brain patients information conveyed by touch has been transmitted to one half of the brain only. If a cut-out shape in wood or plastic, let us say a circle, a square or a triangle, is placed in the right hand of the patient without his being able to see the shape, the sense of touch will tell his left brain what the shape is and, because the left brain can speak, he will be able to answer correctly every time when asked which of the three shapes he has been given. The left hand, however, will send the information to the right brain; because the communication line is cut, the right hemisphere is unable to send the news across to the left brain which will answer randomly when asked which shape is held in the hand. This is exactly what happened when the experiment was tried with split-brain patients; the right hand gave a hundred per cent correct answers but the left hand produced answers which were about one-third circle, one-third square and one-third triangle, regardless of how often each shape was used. The later stages of experiment, however, gave rise to a most astonishing result, for it was found that eventually even with the left hand patients began to score quite a high proportion of correct answers and this was at first inexplicable. It was then noticed that when, say, a circle was placed in the left hand, the patient would begin to look around the room and pick out some circular object, perhaps a clock, and would then move his head in a circle. The left hemisphere, given the clue by the movement, would then give the right answer 'Circle' and it was by the use of this technique that patients succeeded in scoring a high number of correct responses. The right hemisphere, deprived of a direct line of communication with the left, evolved the device of going out into the external world and finding there some stimulus which could send the necessary information in to the left hemisphere. (Fry 1977: 130-131)
This is an astonishing example of a semiotic process. If need be for an example of discussion on the relationship of verbal and noncerbal (self-)communication, this will do perfectly, I believe.
Homo loquens has received the gift of speech which marks him off from all other creatures that we know about and is undoubtedly responsible for his development up to the point which he has now reached. But he has had to pay for this price which has become increasingly obvious in the modern world. Speech is the principal medium for indoctrination and conditioning, which take their most sinister forms in political ideologies and in brainwashing and are only slightly less harmful, if not so lethal, when they assume the universal power of advertising. We have bevome a trigger-happy society in which the trigger is not a tongue of metal or an electronic switch but a word. The pen is mightier than the sword but the slogan or political catch-phrase is mightier than either and their use has gone far towards sapping man's appetite for facts as distinct from opinions. (Fry 1977: 167)
Is the word to be blamed in dystopic fiction? In Nineteen Eighty Four, perhaps; in Fahrenheit 451 not so much. Or maybe there is a matter of degree. Winston lives in a society of doublespeak, Montag in one that has malnurished speak.

Communication in Face to Face Interaction


PealkiriCommunication in face to face interaction : selected readings / edited by John Laver and Sandy Hutcheson
IlmunudHarmondsworth [etc.] : Penguin Books, 1972
Linkhttp://tartu.ester.ee/record=b2590665~S1*est
ViideLaver, John and Sandy Hutcheson (eds.) 1972. Communication in face to face interaction: selected readings. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

Laver, John and Sandy Hutcheson 1972. Introduction. In: Laver, John and Sandy Hutcheson (eds.), Communication in face to face interaction: selected readings. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 11-14.
If we look first at the information exchanged between the participants, it is useful to distiguish between at least three different kinds. The first is what is sometimes referred to as cognitive information; this is the propositional or purely factual content of the linguistic signals exchanged. There is a large body of linguistic literature which deals with the semantic structure of language (Ullmann, 1957, 1962; Lyons, 1968), and it is not part of the objective of this book to explore this area of conversation in any detail.
The second kind of information is what has been called indexical information (Abercrombie, 1967, p. 6). This is information about the speaker himself. The listener uses it to draw inferences about the speaker's identity, attributes, attitudes and mood. It thus includes any behavioural information which serves as evidence for a speaker's biological, psychological or social characteristics. Most of the Readings are implicitly concerned with the communication of indexical information. A tacit theme running through the book is that a partipant uses all the communicative strands of conversation for a variety of indexical purposes. He uses them not only to announce his individual identity and personal characteristics, but also to state his view of the social and psychological structuring of the interaction. In brief, a participant projects indexical information in order to define and control the role he plays during the conversation.
Thirdly, there is the information that the participants exchange in order to collaborate with each other in organizing the temporal progress of the interaction. This kind of information might be called interaction-management information. It allows the participants to initiate and terminate the interaction in a conversational, mutually acceptable way; it also allows them to indicate the transitions within the interaction from one stage to another. Finally, it enables the participants to control the time-sharing of the interaction, in terms of who should occupy the role of the speaker, and when he should yield it to other participants. Thus conversational interaction involves the exchanges of cognitive, indexical and interaction-management information. (Laver and Hutcheson 1972: 11-12)
This is the missing peace to my nonverbalism (nonverbal semiotics) project. Thus far the notion of information has been a flaky one. The verbal- or cognitive one is obvious, related to meanings exchanged in the interaction. The indexical information channel I thought about briefly while reading some piece of semiotics - obviously behaviour reveals or objectifies something about the behaving agent/subject. The third one, interaction-management information - I am familiar as a form of meta-communication and involvement idiom. Now I can replace these crude notions with more refined ones. I would not have discovered this three-part distinction for myself as Ambercrombie's work seems out of my range of interest: Elements of General Phonetics (1967). It is impressive enough that I have read Lyons' Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics (thanks to Irina Avramets and the course in semiotics of language).
Argyle, M. and A. Kendon 1972. The Experimental Analysis of Social Performance. In: Laver, John and Sandy Hutcheson (eds.), Communication in face to face interaction: selected readings. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 19-63.
OP: M. Argyle and Kendon, 'The experimental analysis of social performance', in L. Berkowitx (ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Academic Press 1967, pp. 55-98.
Translation processes. When the input has been selevted and interpreted it must be put to use. Welford (1958) disginsuished as translation processes the ways in which items perceived are acted upon; translation is the term used to refer to the rule by which a particular signal is interpreted as requiring particular action. A great deal of what occurs while a skill is built up consists in development of translations which, once established, are 'ready at hand', so that action taken in regard to incoming signals is usually immediate. Where a new translation has been set up, a great deal of hesitancy and halting can be observed in the subject's performance. (Argyle and Kendon 1972: 21)
The scheme presented on page 20 is terribly familiar, almost an exact replication of Uexküll's functional circle (funktionskreis). The modifications seem to be that instead of a "subject" we are given a "goal", and instead of an "object" there are "changes in the outside world" followed by "feedback". The "perceptual cue" is replaced with generally "perception", and "effector cue" with "motor output". The surprising part is that between perception and motor output, there occurs "translation", yet another curiously familiar term which makes me wonder if I've stumbled upon a sure-fire way to unite the Uexküllian and Lotmanian perspectives in nonverbal communication by the help of very familiar writers (Michael Argyle and Adam Kendon, really? Really?). The source for this model is most likely Welford, A. T. (1958), Ageing and Human Skill, Oxford University Press (Link).
The above quote deals with the acquisition of behaviour, noting (on page 20) that an action such as driving a car is "far from automatic, though it may be seen to be built of elements that are automatized". It is here relevant for me that automatizing is an important part of any kind of training and if I am to someday make an effort to analyze army training, this little piece of information might serve as a major guiding post.
We may distinguish three ways in which visual orientation functions in interaction:
  1. To look at another is a social act in itself.
  2. To meet the gaze of another is a significant event, and may often be an important part of the goal sought in interaction.
  3. In seeing another, much imporatnt information about him may be gathered in addition to his direction of gaze.
(Argyle and Kendon 1972: 37)
A quite conclusive list of the function of visual orientation.
The social techniques used for self-presentation. To create perceptions of an attitude toward the self on the part of others present is a subtle social skill, though one that is usually practiced quite unconsciously. How is it done? A can simply tell B about himself, but this is not socially acceptable, except in the most modest and indirect form. The same is true of hints, name-dropping, and the various techniques of one-upmanship described by Stephen Potter (1952). Another method of projecting an identity is by means of clothes and general appearance, which are in fact excellent clues to a person'ś self-image. Third, a person's style of behavior can indicate, by gesture, manner of speech, and general demeanor, the kind of person he thinks he is and the way he is used to being treated. Finally, the most effective way is by aspects of behavior that are relevant to the self-image; thes ecan prove, as words cannot, that a person really is what he claims to be. Generally speaking, people present a somewhat idealized, or at least edited, version of themselves for public inspection. Thus they conceal a great deal about themselves; they reveal most to those whom they can trust not to reject them, and reveal least about topics such as sex and money (Jourard, 1964). (Argyle and Kendon 1972: 46)
This is valuable discussion for "the nonverbal self". It should be compared to perspective presented in Self and Society (Hewitt 1979).

Abercrombie, D. 1972. Paralanguage. In: Laver, John and Sandy Hutcheson (eds.), Communication in face to face interaction: selected readings. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 64-70.
OP: D. Abercrombie, 'Paralanguage', British Journal of Disorders of Communication, vol. 3, 1968, pp. 55-9.
Paralinguistic phenomena are neither idiosyncratic and personal, on the one hand, nor generally human, on the other. They must, therefore, be culturally determined, and so, as one would expect, they differ from social group to social group. The differ a great deal, and the differences go with language differences, even with dialect differences within languages, though they sometimes cut across linguistic boundaries. (Abercrombie 1972: 64)
Clear and concise: paralinguistic phenomena fall into the socio-cultural category.
If we start examining visible paralinguistic elements, we find another dichotomy, a functional one, useful here, which I suggested some years ago (Abercombie, 1954). This dichotomy is into those elements which can be independent of the verbal elements of conversation, and those which must be dependent on them. A participant in a conversation may nod his head, for example, at the same time as he says the word 'yes'; or he may nod but say nothing - the nod will still communicate. This, therefore, is an independent paralinguistic element - it can occur alone, though it does not have to. Manual gestures of emphasis, on the one hand, must always accompany spoken words, and communicate nothing without them. These therefore are dependent paralinguistic elements. (Abercrombie 1972: 66)
Aside from misspelling own name, Ambercrombie suggest that paralinguistic should also denote kinesic movements and postures, much like Birdwhistell suggested that kinesics should also denote paralinguistic elements. Another possiblity is denoting both with metalinguistic, as was reportedly done in: Smith, H. L. (1950), The Communication Situation, Foreign Service Institute, Department of State, Washington (mimeographed). The distinction outlined here could be of valuable use to differentiate the relationship between nonverbal expressions and lexical affiliates.
Birdwhistell, R. L. 1972. Paralanguage Twenty-five Years after Sapir. In: Laver, John and Sandy Hutcheson (eds.), Communication in face to face interaction: selected readings. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 82-100.
OP: R. L. Birdwhistell, 'Paralanguage twenty-five years after Sapir', in H. G. Brosin (ed.), Lectures in Experimental Psychiatry, Pittsburgh University Press, 1961, pp. 43-63.
Kinesics, as a methodology, is concerned with the communicational aspects of learned, patterned body motion behavior. When, in 1951, it was experimentally determined that body motion could be abstracted and analysed in a manner analogous to speech behavior, it was clear that systematization of such behavior necessitated a clear distinction between that behavior which was prekinesic and that which was subject to kinesic analysis (Birdwhistell, 1952). It is necessary to separate those aspects of behavior which are biological from those which are systematically adapted to the communication needs of the particular society. Only then can we hope to measure the particular interaction or personality system. (Birdwhistell 1972: 93)
This is where I had made a mistake in my seminar paper. Since I have yet to read Introduction to Kinesics, I wrongly assumed that prekinesics was Knapp's invention. From this Birdwhistell's paper it is clear that he indeed modelled this notion after Trager (1949): "Prelinguistics is concerned with the study of the physical and biological events which enter into the act of speech (and hearing)" (cited in Birdwhistell 1972: 90).
Malinowski, B. 1972. Phatic Communication. In: Laver, John and Sandy Hutcheson (eds.), Communication in face to face interaction: selected readings. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 146-152.
OP: Excerpt from B. Malinowski, 'The problem of meaning in primitive languages', supplement to C. K. Ogden and I. A. Richards, The Meaning of Meaning, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1923.
The case of language used in free, aimless, social intercourse requires special consideration. When a number of people sit together at a village fire, after all the daily tasks are over, or when they chat, resting from work, or when they accompany some mere manual work by gossip quite unconnected with what they are doing - it is clear that here we have to do with another mode of using language, with another type of speech function. Language here is not dependent upon what happens at that moment, it seems to be even deprived of any context of situation. The meaning of any utterance cannot be connected with the speaker's or hearer's behaviour, with the purpose of what they are doing.
A mere phrase of politeness, in use as much among savage tribes as in a European drawing room, fulfils a function to which the meaning of its words is almost completely irrelevant. Inquiries about health, comments on weather, affirmations of some supremely obvious state of things - all such are exchanged, not in order to inform, not in this case to connect people in action, certainly not in order to express any thought. It would be even incorrect, I think, to say that such words serve the purpose of establishing a common sentiment, for this is usually absent from such current phrases of intercourse; and where it purports to exist, as in expressions of sympathy, it is avowedly spurious on one side. What is the raison d'étre, therefore of such phrases as How do you do? Ah, here you are. WHere to you come from? Nice day today - all of which serve in one society or another as formulae of greeting or approach?
I think that, in discussing the function of speech in mere sociabilities, we come to one of the bedrock aspects of man's nature in society. There is in all human beings the well-known tendency to congregate, to be together, to enjoy each other's company. Many instincts and innate trends, such as fear or pugnacity, all the types of social sentiments such as amition, vanity, passion for power and wealth, are dependent upon and associated with the fundamental tendency which makes the mere presence of others a necessity for man.
Now speech is the intimate correlate of this tendency, for, to a natural man, another man's silence is not a reassuring factor, but, on the contrary, something alarming and dangerous. The stranger who cannot speak the language is to all savage trbesmen a natural enemy. To the primitive mind, whether among savages or our own uneducated classes, taciturnity means not only unfriendliness but indirectly a bad character. This no doubt varies greatly with the national character but remains true as a general rule. The breaking of silence, the communion of words it the first act to establish links of fellowship, which is consummated only by the breaking of bread and the communion of food. The modern English expression, Nice day today or the Melanesian phrase, Whence comest thou? are needed to get over the strange and unpleasant tension which men feel when facing each other in silence.
After the first formula, there comes a flow of language, purposeless expressions of preference or aversion, accounts of irrelevant happenings, comments on what is perfectly obvious. Such gossip, as found in primitive societies, differs only a little from out own. Always the same emphasis of affirmation and consent, mixed perhaps with an indicental disagreement which creates the bonds of antipathy. Or personal accounts of the speaker's views and life history, to which the hearer listens under some restraint and with slightly veiled impatience, waiting till his own turn arrives to speak. For in this use of speech the bonds created between hearer and speaker are not quire symmetrical, the man linguistically active receiving the greater share of social pleasure and self-enhancement. But though the hearing given to such utterances is as a rule not as intense as the speaker's own share, it is quite essential for his pleasure, and the reciprocity is established by the change of roles.
There can be no doubt that we have here a new type of linguistic use - phatic communion I am tempted to call it, actuated by the demon of terminological invention - a type of speech in which ties of union are created by a mere exchange of words. Let us look at it from the special point of view with which we are here concerned; let us ask what light it throws on the function or nature of language. Are words in phatic communication used primarily to convey meaning, the meaning which is symbolically theirs? Certainly not! THey fulfil a social function and that is their principal aim, but they are neither the result of intellectual reflection, nor do they necessarily arouse reflection in the listener. Once again we may say that language does not function here as a means of transmission of thought. (Malinowski 1972: 149-151)
Quoted at lenght because of it's importance.
La Barre, Weston 1972. The Cultural Basis of Emotions and Gestures. In: Laver, John and Sandy Hutcheson (eds.), Communication in face to face interaction: selected readings. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 207-224.
OP: W. La Barre, 'The cultural basis of emotions and gestures, Journal of Personality, vol. 16, 1947. pp. 49-68.
Some time afterward I asked a somewhat naïve question of a very great anthropologist, the late Edward Sapir: 'Do other tribes cry and lauigh as we do?' In appropriate response, Sapir himself laughed, but with an instant grasping of the point of the question: In which of these things are men alike everywhere, in which different? Where are the international boundaries between physiology and culture? WHat are the extremes of variability, and what are the scope and range of cultural differences in emotional and gestural expression? Probably one of the most learned linguist who have ever lives, Sapir was extremely sensitive to emotional and sublinguistic gesture - an area of deep illiteracy for most 'Anglo-Saxon' Americans - and my present interest was founded on our convesation at that time. (La Barre 1972: 209)
This question has plagued me also.
However, American Indian gestures soon pass over into the undisputedly linguistic area, as when two old men of different tribes who do not know a word of each other's spoken language, sit side by side and tell each other improper stories in the complex and highly articulate intertribal sign language of the Plains. These conventionalized gestures of the Plains sign language must of course be learned as a language is learned, for they are a kind of kinaesthetic ideograph, resembling written Chinese. THe number of mutually unintelligible spoken Chinese dialects; similarly, the sign language may be 'read' by Comanche, in Cheyenne or in Pawnee, all of which belong to different language families. The primitive Australian sign language was evidently of the conventionalized Plains type also, for it reproduced words, not mere letters (since of course they had no written language), but unfortunately little is known in detail of its mechanisms. (La Barre 1972: 215)
I've known about the existence of the Plains (or "Native-American") sign-language, but this is the first instance it has sparked interest in me.
Scheflen, A. E. 1972. The Significance of Posture in Communication systems. In: Laver, John and Sandy Hutcheson (eds.), Communication in face to face interaction: selected readings. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 225-246.
OP: A. E. Scheflen, 'The significance of posture in communication systems.
This paper will discuss these postural configurations, which are reliable indicators of the following aspects of communication:
  1. They demarcate the components of individual behavior that each person contributes to the group activities.
  2. They indicate how the individual contributions are related to each other.
  3. They define the steps and order in the interaction - that is, the 'program'.
(Scheflen 1972: 225)
Someone (probably Argyle and Kendon) introduced Scheflens work here as pointing to the fact that interaction has a program which can be discriminated by the postures of interactants.
That these behaviors are regular, uniform entities within a culture tremendously simplifies both research into human interaction and practical understanding of it. These [culturally coded behavioural] forms are so familiar that a description of them leads to immediate recognition by most people, without elaborate details or measurements. (Scheflen 1972: 225)
This seems to be true, as far as books on nonverbal communication are quite understandable without illustrations. The visual redundancy in manuals such as "The Body Language Project" seems to be aimed at people who aren't on best terms with descriptions and prefer the examples to be presented to them visually.
Now, the theoretical point is this: human social behavior is neither universal for all members of Homo sapiens nor individual and unique for each person. The musculoskeletal underpinnings of human behavior are determined by biological form and transmitted by genetic mechanisms, but every culture molds the raw actions according to its own traditions. Intromission and ejaculation are universal human behaviors, but none of the other activities involved in mating is universal. The forms of how coitus is performed differ from culture to culture. The ability to speak is universal, but language is culturally determined. Thus, to understand the meaning of gestures, postures, inflections and even affect expressions, it is necessary to look critically across cultures, across classes, across institutions. (Scheflen 1972: 226)
These are fine examples between the relationship of universal and cultural forms behaviors.

Further readings

Advances in Communication Research


PealkiriAdvances in communication research / Niles Rumely Newton, Michael Newton, Charles R. Tittle ... [et al.] ; edited by C. David Mortensen, Kenneth K. Sereno
IlmunudNew York [etc.] : Harper & Row, c1973
Linkhttp://tartu.ester.ee/record=b1333894~S1*est
ViideMortensen, David C. and Kenneth K. Sereno (eds.) 1973. Advances in communication research. New York: Harper & Row.

Well, I withdrew over 30 books from UTLIB's repository for this summers reading and there were bound to be some bad apples among them. This is the first truly bad one. The title reads "Advances in Communication Research", but it hits off with introduction by Martin Fishbein, closely followed by articles by Icek Ajzen (these guys). The title should actually read "Advances in Attitude Research". Part 1: Attitudes and Behavior; Part 2: Counterattitudinal Advocacy; Part 3: Perception and Communiation; Part 4: Nonverbal Communication; Part 5: Communication and Social Class. The first three parts have very little if at all to do with communication. Part 4 contains four articles by Albert Mehrabian, who's as "meh" as always: if you've read one of his articles, you've read them all. Part 5 is the "various" section which in my opinion models what this book was supposed to be. I ended up reading the first two Mehrabian articles and accepting the fact that this is bollocks.
What really pisses me off is that the editors, on the back cover, only mention the names of Part 4, Part 3, and Part 5 (in that order), describing the book as "...the first [their italics] book to approach communication as an area of social inquiry" and that it "...involves the student in a serious exploration of the underlying nature of the subject". The subject, of course, being attitude research, and by "serious exploration", is meant "seriously off the mark exploration". To be sure that this is not merely my opinion, I present an empirical/quantifiable argument: the Index of Subjects of this book contains 4 items under "communication" and approximately 40 under "attitude". I rest my case.
Mehrabian, Albert 1973a. A Semantic Space for Nonverbal Behavior. In: Mortensen, David C. and Kenneth K. Sereno (eds.) 1973. Advances in communication research. New York: Harper & Row, 277-287.
A third type of approach has consisted of attempts to develop typologies for movement. This was used by investigators such as Birdwhistell (1952), Efron (1941), and more recently by Ekman and Friesen (1969b), and Freedman and Hoffman (1967). For instance, Ekman and Friesen (1969b) suggested a rather thorough system for the categorization of movements which they also related to that of other investigators. Unfortunately, evidence regarding the significance of the various cues which are categorized is generally lacking, and, more importantly, studies are not yet available to provide empirical justification for the separate categories proposed by these investigators. (Mehrabian 1973: 282)
Yeah, fuck common-sense and easily relatable categories, let's conjure up incomprehensible formulas, like (quoted from page 280) "Relaxation = .16Si - .1Ai(1 + Ei) - .1(EiDi)".
Mehrabian, Albert 1973b. Significance of Posture and Position in the Communication of Attitude and Status Relationships. In: Mortensen, David C. and Kenneth K. Sereno (eds.) 1973. Advances in communication research. New York: Harper & Row, 288-303.
In sum, then, the findings from a large number of studies corroborate one another and indicate that communicator-addresse distance is correlated with the degree of negative attitude communicated to and inferred by the addressee. In addition, studies carried out by sociologists and anthropologists indicate that distances which are too close, that is, inappropriate for a given interpersonal situation, can elicit negative attitudes when the communicator-addressee relationship is not an intimate personal one. (Mehrabian 1973b: 292)
I like how something as commonsensical as that requires elaborate and corroborative social psychological experiments and incomprehensible jargon to express. Here he also seems to distance himself from anthropologists and sociologists, who, in my opinion, have done much more to further out knowledge on these issues.
It should be noted that, in a number of studies where body orientation has been a variable of interest, the effects of body orientation and eye contact have been confounded. Greater degrees of eye contact with an addressee tend to be associated with a more direct orientation of the head, shoulders, and legs of a communicator toward his addressee. For example, Mehrabian (1968a), using an encoding method, found that for communicators who are in a standing position, shoulder orientation (i.e., the number of degrees that a plane perpendicular to the plane of the subject's shoulders is turned away from the media plane of his addressee) correlated - .41 with eye contact. In other words, in a standing position, the greater the directness of orientation toward the addressee, the greater was the eye contact with the addressee. Mehrabian (1968b) used indices of head shoulder, and leg orientation... (Mehrabian 1973: 296)
Yet again, highly complex description which he can himself sum up in very simple words. It is noteworthy that throughout the articles he continually refers to himself in third person, as should be done in peer-reviewed journals. It is noteworthy because he does it so often that if it were read without knowing who the author is, one would be inclined to think that the author is a great fan of Albert Mehrabian.
Interesting references gleaned from the book:
  • Garfinkel, H. Studies of the routine grounds of everyday activities. Social Problems, 1964, 11, 225-250.
  • Sheflen, A. E. The significance of posture in communication systems. Psychiatry, 1964, 27, 316-331.
  • Sheflen, A. E. Stream and structure of communicational behavior. Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Behavioral Studies Monograph No. 1, 1965.
  • Bernstein, B. Elaborated and restricted codes: their social origins and some consequences. In J. J. Gumperz and D. Hymes, eds., The Ethnography of Communication, American Anthropologist, 1964, 66, No. 6, Part 2, 55-69.
  • B. Malinowski, "The Problem of Meaning in Primitive Language," in Magic, Science and Religion and Other Essays (Boston, 1948), pp. 228-76. TÜR

The Communication of Emotional Meaning


AutorDavitz, Joel Robert
PealkiriThe communication of emotional meaning / [by] Joel R. Davitz, with Michael Beldoch, Sidney Blau ... [et al.]
IlmunudNew York [etc.] : McGraw-Hill, 1964
Linkhttp://tartu.ester.ee/record=b1878779~S1*est
ViideDavitz, Joel R. (ed.) 1964. The communication of emotional meaning. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Davitz, Joel R. 1964b. A review of research concerned with facial and vocal expression of emotion. In: Davitz, Joel R. (ed.) 1964. The communication of emotional meaning. New York: McGraw-Hill, 13-30.
To reduce articiality of their stimuli, a number of investigators have used photographs of unposed, spontaneous facial expressions (Schulze, 1912; Munn, 1940; Hanawalt, 1944), and it is interesting to note that in terms of accuracy of communication, there are no consistent differences between the results obtained with posed and unposed pictures. Communication necessarily involves shared interpretations of more or less conventional cues; without such conventions one could hardly expect one person to understand another. It seems reasonable, therefore, to assume that the cues which communicate meaning in posed pictures are similar to, and in fact based on, cues observed in normal, everyday facial expressions. Unless one were to assume a special, artificial facial "language" specific to the theater or the psychological laboratory, one must conclude that the relatively accurate communication reported in most studies is a function of knowledge shared, at least implicitly, by those persons who communicate with each other. (Davitz 1964b: 16)
This was a pertinent question in relation with methods used at the time. This is discussed further in the book by others as well (e.g. Turner 1964: 131-132).
Beldoch, Michael 1964. Sensivity to Emotional expression in three modes of communication. In: Davitz, Joel R. (ed.) 1964. The communication of emotional meaning. New York: McGraw-Hill, 31-42.
Previous work (Davitz & Davitz, 1959b; Fairbanks & Pronevost, 1939) using vocal communication provided important guides in developing the measure to assess sensitivity to vocal expression. Three male and two female speakers tape-recorded recitations of the same three-sentence paragraph in an attempt to communicate twelve different emotions: admiration; affection; amusement; anger; boredom; despair; disgust; feat; impatience; joy; love; worship. The paragraph, "I am going out now. I won't be back all afternoon. If anyone calls, just tell them I'm not here," was selected for its apparent neutrality so far as specific emotional content was concerned. (Beldoch 1964: 32)
Neat.
Davitz, Joel R. 1964d. Personality, perceptual, and cognitive correlates of emotional sensitivity. In: Davitz, Joel R. (ed.) 1964. The communication of emotional meaning. New York: McGraw-Hill, 57-68.
The Guilford-Zimmerman Temperament Survey measures 10 personality traits identified through factor analysis. These traits include: general activity, restraint, ascendance, sociability, emotional stability, objectivity, friendliness, thoughtfulness, personal relations (tolerance, cooperativeness), and masculinity-femininity.
The Allport-Vernon-Lindzey Study of Values measures theoretically derived, basic interests or values, including: theoretical, economic, aesthetic, social, political, and religious.
THe Edwards Personal Preference Schedule (EPPS) was designed to measure 15 needs defined in terms of Murray's conceptualization of motivation. These needs are: archievement, deference, order, exhibitionism, autonomy, affection, intraception, nurturance, change, endurance, heterosexuality, and aggression. (Davitz 1964c: 58)
Yet again, neat. These categories are good to know. Same goes for this chart of vocal characteristics, which has also appeared in Argyle (1975).

Dimitrovsky, Lilly 1964. The ability to identify the emotional meaning of vocal expressions at successive age levels. In: Davitz, Joel R. (ed.) 1964. The communication of emotional meaning. New York: McGraw-Hill, 69-86.

Davitz, Joel R. 1964d. Auditory Correlates of vocal expressions of emotional meanings. In: Davitz, Joel R. (ed.) 1964. The communication of emotional meaning. New York: McGraw-Hill, 101-112.
"Experimental literature" from pages 102-103:

Blau, Sidney 1964. An ear for an eye: sensory compensation and judments of affect by the blind. In: Davitz, Joel R. (ed.) 1964. The communication of emotional meaning. New York: McGraw-Hill, 113-128.
The ancient Greeks believed that victims of blindness were beneficiaries, of a "divine compensation." The gods blessed the blind with prophecy and poetry. Homer's blind minstrel is "the muse's beloved" to whom both evil and good had been granted. (Blau 1964: 113)
In the course of a pilot study, several variables other than those explicitly suggested by previous writers were encouraged. While examining data derived from a test of ability to identify everyday sounds, it was noted that congenitally blind adolescents, as compared to the sighted, seemed to display a greater tendency to find affect in sounds which contained no explicit affectual connotation. For example, blind Ss more often described a barking dog as, "a dog when he's been hurt," "a friendly dog," etc. A measure was developed to study this tendency toward affect-attention in spoken dialogue.
It was also observed that blind Ss seemed to be distinguishable from the sighted in their identification of various sounds. Regardless of accuracy, blind Ss manifested greater effort to interpret a sound actively and to place it more specifically in the world of sound. For example, a blind S described a sound of coffee percolating as the sound of "a liquid being sucked through a straw." (Blau 1964: 114)
Affect-attention is a valuable term. Placing interpretations in the world of sound resembles the notion of culture as an organizing principle or "turning chaos into order" (Bauman 1973: 119).
Turner, John le B. 1964. Schizophrenics as judges of vocal expressions of emotional meaning. In: Davitz, Joel R. (ed.) 1964. The communication of emotional meaning. New York: McGraw-Hill, 129-142.
A conceptual distinction can be made between two sources of inaccuracy in judging emotions. Insensitivity would be a high absolute or differential treshold for recognition of emotion; distortion would be a tendency to misreport, perhaps even to oneself, originally sensitive perception. The distinction is extremely hard to implement experimentally, but when the study was planned it seemed possible that something might be learned about it if the patterning of errors were studied as well as sheer frequency of "correct" responses, and if paranoids, most often described as sensitive but likely to distort, were separated from other schizophrenics. (Turner 1964: 130)
This distinction seems to hold useful merit for any kind of nonverbal interpretation.
Construction of the principal measuring instrument gave rise to several interesting methodological considerations. The most challenging problem was to obtain suitable recorded samples of speech to constitute the items. Each sample should be such that the "correct" response could be clearly specified - that is, one must have confidence that a particular emotion "really is" expressed. Yet identification of the emotions expressed must not always be easy. Ideally the items should vary over a wide range of difficulty. The ultimate solution may be to collect a large number of extended samples of the natural speech of persons in various situations, so that their emotional states are already known or can be confidently judged from the larger context. From such material one could select sentences or phrases whose wording gives no clue as to the speaker's emotion. These would constitute items for which the question of "correct response" and "genuineness of expression" would already be settled without recourse to expert judgments or item analyses of subjects' responses. Level of difficulty would then be determined empirically, and ultimately a set of items would be assembled having the desirable range of difficulty of identification in a variety of expressed emotions. Until somebody performs this very considerable task, we must be content with feigned emotional expressions, analogous to the posed photographs used in the early studies of facial expressions - and, we must caution ourselves, with an analogous risk that what we are now studying may have more to do with theatrical conventions than with actual emotional expression. (Turner 1964: 131-132)
This is a reasonable doubt.
...another subject, blatantly paranoid but cooperative and highly intelligent, who conscientiously went through the entire test saying, "simulated anger," "simulated fear," etc., and obtained one of the three highest scores in the entire sample of 90 subjects. (Turner 1964: 138)
A maverick test subject.
Among schizophrenics task A performance may be influenced by such factors as general attentiveness (or perhaps more specific attentiveness to persons' voices), cognitive clarity, and tendencies to give distorted or overly guarded reports. Among nonschizophrenics, where the above factors are not important sources of variation, correlations with age and education emerge. It is not surprising if intelligence or sophistication makes a difference, though it would be a sorry comment on task A's validity if it correlated too highly with intellectual or socioeconomic variables or with such things as exposure to television and motion pictures. (Turner 1964: 141)
These factors may not be important in a test situation, but in everyday life, these should be considered.
Davitz, Joel R. 1964e. Minor studies and some hypotheses. In: Davitz, Joel R. (ed.) 1964. The communication of emotional meaning. New York: McGraw-Hill, 143-156.
Perhaps interpersonal compatibility requires some minimal level of sensitivity to each other; without this minimal level, it seems likely that conflicts would occur simply as a result of ignorance of each other. On the other hand, too great a sensitivity to each other may interfere with interpersonal functioning; perhaps some "blindness" or "interpersonal repression" of information is necessary for getting along together in daily living. Or, it is also possible that the experiences which led to high and low compatibility may have led to differential sharpening or dulling of sensitivity to expressions of the other person. (Davitz 1964e: 152)
He is here talking about an experiment involving roommates, but this suggestion is comparable to sensory gating (Elkind 1971: 2), preventing recall (Birdwhistell1970: 190-191), and lowering awareness (Key 1980: 22). It should also be pointed out, that alongside selective perception, selective memory too should be kept in mind.
Consider, for example, the finding that people tend to be rather stable in the kinds of errors they make when reacting to vocal expressions of emotional meaning. Most of the research in this area has used a gross estimate of sensitivity based on total correct identifications, but obviously, this represents only one aspect of the overall communication process. People undoubtedly make errors in communication not only in a laboratory situation but also in everyday life. And if these errors are consistent, as they appear to be, one might infer that something about the person determines the particular kinds of errors he makes. If his channels of communication are consistently distorted in one way or another, we can expect his behavior to be similarly distorted. Thus, the investigation of stable patterns of error in communication offers a potentially useful way of investigating various intrapsychic as well as interpersonal phenomena. (Davitz 1964e: 154)
This reminded me of a scene in Lie To Me where a man was unable to correctly identify certain facial expressions because of his social interactions which didn't very much present him these expressions.
Davitz, Joel R. and Steven Mattis 1964. The communication of emotional meaning by metaphor. In: Davitz, Joel R. (ed.) 1964. The communication of emotional meaning. New York: McGraw-Hill, 157-176.

Davitz, Joel R. 1964f. Summary and speculations. In: Davitz, Joel R. (ed.) 1964. The communication of emotional meaning. New York: McGraw-Hill, 177-202.
In defining communication, we also had to define "meaning." The meaning of any sign or symbol can be determined in terms of some behavioral response, and just as there are many aspects of behavior, there are many kinds of meaning. We chose a "labeling," or "naming," response on the assumption that the label a listener applied to a vocal expression realistically defined the meaning that expression had for him. If the listener's response agreed with the speaker's intent, we said that the listener was "sensitive to" or "understood" the speaker. In this respect, our research method paralleled everyday communication in so far as labeling behavior is commonly associated with understanding or meaning. But our technique differed from usual interpersonal communication in that the listener was always given a list of emotional names from which to choose his response, and he was required to limit his choice to one category of meaning contained in the list. This certainly differs from the typical everyday situation in which a listener has no explicit list of labels from which to choose his response. At this point, our problem was similar to the psychometric issue of essay versus objective tests; on the one hand, we wanted some standardization of responses to assure reliablity of scoring, but on the other hand, we also wanted to achieve a reasonable degree of versimilitude in respect to everyday communication. Our choice of an objective form of response assured us of scoring reliability, and we had only argued for the versimilitude of our tests on the basis of the results obtained. (Davitz 1964f: 190-191)
This is an important passage. Their understanding of the meaning of behaviour seems to resemble that of Charles W. Morris, although the bibliography doesn't list him (it does Norris, though). This labeling or naming technique should be thought over in the context of culturalization, or the relationship between language and nonverbal communication.
  • Klein, G. S. Cognitive control and motivation. In G. Lindzey (Ed.), Assessment of human motives. New York: Groove, 1960. Pp. 87-118.
  • Langer, Susanne K. Philosophy in a new key. Cambridge: Harvard Univer. Press, 1942. TÜR
  • Langer, Susanne K. Feeling and form. New York: Scribners, 1953. TÜR.

The Politics of Abolition


AutorMathiesen, Thomas
PealkiriThe politics of abolition : essays in political action theory / Thomas Mathiesen
IlmunudOslo : Universitetsforlaget, c1974
Linkhttp://tartu.ester.ee/record=b1720205~S1*est
ViideMathiesen, Thomas 1974. The politics of abolition: essays in political action theory. Scandinavian Studies in Criminology, Volume 4. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

The alternative is 'alternative' in so far as it competes with the old system. An arrangement which does not compete with the old system, an arrangement which is not relevant for the members of the old system as a replacement of the old system, is no alternative. I emphasized that the concept of competition takes, as its point of departure, the subjective standpoint of the satisfied system-member being confronted with an opposition. The political task is that of exposing to such a member the insufficiency of being satisfied with the system. When this is exposed, the opposition competes. This is the case whether the system-members in question are on top or at the bottom of the system. Often those we try to talk to will be at the bottom, because these are considered more mobile for actual political action. (Marhiesen 1974: 14)
This is a relevant dictum for dystopic fiction, since they don't (usually) present to the protagonist a viable (proper) alternative. Members of totalitarian systems are forced to confront the existing system without a considerable alternative.
Love is an unifinished relationship. In its state of being unfinished, love is boundless. We do not know where it will lead us, we do not know where it will stop; in these ways it is without boundaries. It ceases, it finishes, when it is tried out and when its boundaries are clarified and determined - finally drawn. It represents an alternative to 'the existing state of things': to existence in resigned loneliness or in routinized marriage. Resigned loneliness and routinized marriage are not alternatives in relation to each other: contradiction as well as the degree of competition are low, if at all present. (But unfinished loneliness, in which we are en route to something through the loneliness, and in which boundaries are not drawn, may certainly be an alternative to - contradicting and competing with - routinized marriage.) (Mathiesen 1974: 16-17)
This is just beautiful. Not at all what could be expected in an ominous-sounding series called "Scandinavian Studies in Criminology".
'Carrying into effect' consists of two main subtypes: (1) as a non-member of the established system you may try to create an alternative in splendid isolation from the establishment (the hippy society); (2) as a non-member you may try to create the alternative through overthrowing the establishment. Strictly speaking, only the latter type competes with the establishment (if the alternative is isolated, it is outside any relationship with the establishment), but empirically - outside the ideal type - there may also be present an element of competition in the former type. But the competition of the isolated alternative consists of 'persuasion', with the difficulties which this implies (see above). Thus, only the second subtype of 'carrying into effect' - working for the overthrow - implies a genuinely new type of competition. (Mathiesen 1974: 21)
Here he drives his concept of the alternative home. In this sense isolated communities are not proper alternatives; aside from Mathiesen's argument of them not being in any relationship with the establishment, I'd argue toward isolated communities being inclusive.
These were some of the more important features of our thinking while the great silence prevailed. Through emphasis on co-operation, honesty towards the authorities, diplicity in order to appease the authorities, reliance on the authorities' own regulations, and a tendency to refrain from emphasixing the association itself, we were - without being particularly conscious of it - far along the road towards being integrated into or absorbed by the system we were trying to change. (By 'integration' or 'absorption' is meant that an organization changes its course of action in such a way that its activities mainly take place on conditions provided by the opposite party, and according to principles accepted by the opposite party). (Mathiesen 1974: 59)
Here Mathiesen is already immersed in the KROM narrative, but his warning of being absorbed by the authoritative system contains import for all counter-organizations. Later he makes the differentiation between political and humanitarian work, with the latter being more prone to absorption.
Bureaucracy is preoccupied with maintaining a calm environment. The goal of 'calmness''is important because the bureaucracy is frequently exposed to criticism. It is also important as an end in itself. Even friendly initiatives from the bureaucracy towards new counter-organization imply a brief period of unrest, and even if such unrest would scarcely be dangerous to the long-term policy of the bureaucracy, representatives of bureaucratic organizations also try to avoid creating unrest of this kind, because unrest is in itself viewed as an evil. Instead, potential unrest is met by silence. (Mathiesen 1974: 61)
This descriptions seems on par with the experience of current/local squatters movement - no one seems to mind, explicitly, that illegal activity is taking place, as long as the impression of calm can be maintained.
Firstly, political contact between prisoners and an outside organization like KROM disturbs the expurgatory function of imprisonment. In our society, 'productivity' is to a considerable and increasing degree geared to activity in the labour market. At the same time, our social structure probably increasingly creates groups which are 'unproductive' according to this criterion. A social structure which does so must rid itself of its unproductive elements, partly because their presence creates inefficiency in the system of production - it 'throws sand into the machinery' - and partly because the 'unproductive' brutally remind us of the fact that our productive system is not so successful after all. A society may get rid of its 'unproductive' elements in many ways. One way is to criminalize their activities and punish them by imprisoning them. This may be done towards a sub-category of the unproductive. In this perspective, the rulers of the prison system are merely the executives of the expurgatory system of society. KROM, on the other hand, tries to expose the ideological superstructure of the prisons, unmasking the real expurgatory function of the system. Concretely, contrast between KROM and the prisoners implies that the wall between society and the 'unproductive' has been breached, and that the 'unproductive' indirectly come within the field of vision of the society which wants to get rid of them. Against this background, the provoked reaction on the part of people in the prison system, and their allies becomes understandable. (Mathiesen 1974: 77)
There isn't much point in tracing the developments and events recorded in the book, but this lengthy quote briefly sums up the intent of the author.
The fundamental idea behind organization from below, is, of course, that when you stand together and act in a co-ordinated way, your struggle against coercion becomes more effective. In other words, what we are talking about is counter-organization. However, there are several possible diversionary manoeuvres that may be used by those in power when they confront a tendency towards counter-organization among the expelled.
One diversionary manoeuvre may be found in the idea of 'individual treatment'. 'Individual treatment' - handling of the individual through individual rewards and punishments - was earlier (and still is) one of the anwers of the factory owners to tendencies towards organization among the workers. Such individual handling - ruling through division - is of course also part of the strategy employed by the prison governor, the head-doctor, and the supervisor of the old people's home against tendencies towards counter-organization among the prisoners, the sick, and the old. But these wielders of power have something more to add. What is particularly important in connection with the handling of the expelled is that the 'individual treatment' may be elevated to a distinct ideology. The medical-psychoatric treatment ideology, with its stress on individual treatment accords to need, provides an ideological foundation for counteracting any tendency towards counter-organization. Such counteraction may take place on the grounds that the individual needs 'individual treatment' from his own individual point of view. (Mathiesen 1974: 124)
This reminds me of how Winston received 'individual treatment' in Room 101 in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.