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What is significant here is that the 'adult' (post-infancy) members of the child's meaning group have consistently been tracking his semiotic development. They don't speak his language, as I said, but they know what it means, well enough to hold extended conversations with him, even though it is changing all the time; and he knows if they haven't got the message right, and has ways of telling them so. The reason the others can do this is the same reason they can master any semiotic system: that they approach it from three different angles —from above, from below, and from round about (I have referred to this as a 'trinocular' perspective).

One such example is the central concern of nineteenth-century typology - typology based on the nature of the word grammar of a language (fusional, isolating or analytic, agglutinative, polysynthetic). There is no evidence for linking such changes to general socio-cultural changes that characterize human evolution; they are purely internal to the distribution of realizational resources within the grammar or phonology of a language (cf. Matthiessen, in press). (ii) On the other hand, there are changes of a more unidirectional nature.

She called. " said the mother. " She went to look for him. He was standing, precariously, by the divan, looking at his picture cards that were hanging on the wall. "doh" he said as she came in. ' 'doh ... " his mother asked him. "doh ... doh" Appendix 2 Examples of pragmatic and mathetic: Nigel l;f i-i; 9 (a) pragmatic (b) mathetic chuffa stuck N. ' bi^ ball throw up low wall high wall 'throw the rabbit up in the air again' N. about to jump off suitcase, asking to be caught; first used when jumping off walls, low & high, in park mi squeeze play chuffa 'squeeze the orange for me' 'I want my milk in a glass' 'sing "Oranges and lemons'"; accompanied by music gesture, which is alternative realization of pragmatic; hence falling tone N.

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