Caring, conversing, and realizing values: new directions in language studies

Bert Hodges, Sune Vork Steffensen, James E. Martin

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Language serves many functions for humans, but three of the most important are coordination,
    learning, and friendship. All of those functions were well served by the conversations
    from which this special issue emerged, a conference, ‘‘Grounding language in perception
    and (inter) action’’, held at Gordon College in June 2009. The conference brought together
    researchers primarily from three research traditions, dynamical systems theory, distributed
    language, and ecological psychology, and each of these perspectives is reviewed and illustrated
    in this special issue. The particular focus of this issue, though, is the role of conversations
    in humans caring for each other and the ecosystems of which they are a part.
    Emergency medical care, parents and children playing, and students learning a second language,
    are among the contexts of caring considered. Also considered are ways in which symbol
    systems emerge, ways in which language extends and alters perception–action systems,
    and ways in which infant-caregiver relations (i.e., first friendships) are constituted. The various
    articles explore how language is ‘‘situated, culturally embodied, emergent, and distributed’’
    (Zukow-Goldring, this issue); how language is a crucial dimension of the extended
    phenotype of humans; how language increases our ability to care for each other, our
    common tasks, and the (real or virtual) ecosystems we inhabit; and how language emerges
    as we coordinate and share perception and action skills.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalLanguage Sciences
    Volume34
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)499-506
    Number of pages8
    ISSN0388-0001
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Cite this