Volume 2   Number 1      Fall 2007

Self, Symbol and Subject: A Commentary
on Lyra’s “On Abbreviation; Dialogue in Early Life”

Chris Sinha
University of Portsmouth, UK
pp. 45-50   (pdf)
ABSTRACT. Lyra presents a methodologically sophisticated analysis of the ontogenetic course of microgenetic processes in infant-caretaker interaction. The article raises important issues concerning the relationship between microgenesis and ontogenesis. Lyra’s argument that the microgenetic phase of abbreviated dialogue constitutes a seed of, or precursor to, the semiotic function is convincing. I question, however, both Lyra’s extension of this to an assumption that symbolic dialogicality is thereby already established, and her interpretation of the common ground of co-participation in terms of shared knowledge. I conclude by noting that developmental analyses such as Lyra’s have an important role to play in the conceptual clarification of dialogic theory.