From speech with others to speech for self

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The chapter is a case study of a particular kind of speech-for-self produced by a preschool-aged girl, characterized as “externalized dramas.” Unlike most such records of vocalized thought, this speech is not involved with guiding ongoing behavior, but rather with acting out problems of interpersonal relations with peers. Using two or more voices in dialog, the speech is full of insults and denials, claims and counter-claims, promises, excuses – all of the continuing struggles to define social roles and one’s own position. Externalized dramas practice and refine pragmatic devices of prosody, lexicon, and speech acts, while dealing with underlying problems of emotional states, violence, fantasy and reality, and other minds. It is suggested that audible inner speech goes inward to become silent speech that continues to be concerned with social dynamics and individual status and roles.


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