Thank you!Mark R. LindnerVisiting Serials Cataloger and Visiting Assistant Professor of Library AdministrationUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
Certificate of Advanced Study candidate, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, UIUC
Integrating tagging: tagging as integration
[I ended up adlibbing this more than I thought, but here is what I had written: ]
I am working to finish my Certificate of Advanced Study degree at the University of Illinois. My paper for that degree is a critique of the use of the concepts of language and communication within LIS, whether explicitly stated or implicit; particularly in vocabularies of all kinds.
In looking at tagging research I can think of no case in which the researchers view of language and/or communication has been made explicit. The implicit views all seem to follow the standard linguistic account which is a segregational account [Ill define that term in a moment.].
My intent today is to suggest a possible alternative, Integrationism.
Quick overview of Integrationism
Community as macrosocial
Tagging as integrationFounded by Roy Harris, past chair of Modern Languages and then Linguistics at Oxford
30 years, 2 generations of students
Integrationism is a theory of linguistics and communication, and provides a counter to segregational accounts.
Segregationism i.e. any approach which assumes that systems of communication are independent of their potential users or of the contexts in which they can operate(http://www.royharrisonline.com/integrationism.html)
Recognition of [the] fundamental integrational function provides a basis for comparing and analysing all communication systems, both linguistic and non-linguistic. Such an analysis stands in marked contrast to traditional semiology, where the reigning assumption is that there must already exist established systems of signs (e.g. languages), without which communication would be doomed to failure. Thus integrationism () denies the existence of context-free signs. Signs, including linguistic signs, are products of the communicational process, not its prerequisites. (http://www.royharrisonline.com/integrationism.html)
Time takes priority because it is common to all sensory modalities and is the primary axis along which, for human beings, the various senses are integrated. SOW 38
in every act of human communication there is implicit an integration of past, present and possible future activities. Without this temporal structuring, communication would be an entirely different process. SOW 38
From an integrationist perspective, the primary function of the sign is to integrate an individual's past, present and (anticipated) future experience. That is an essential prerequisite for making sense of any situation in which we are involved. Without it, there can be no question of communication. (http://www.integrationists.com/integrationism.html)
There are no timeless signs. SLC 97
Its basic temporal function is to integrate our present experience (T1) both with our past experience (T-1) and with anticipated future experience (T+1). (http://www.royharrisonline.com/integrationism.html)
The communicational infrastructure that must be in place before any of us, as individuals, can engage in any communication process whatsoever consists of three parameters:
Biomechanical, macrosocial and circumstantial.
Biomechanical factors relate to the physiological and psychological capacities of the human organism.
Macrosocial factors relate to the cultural practices and institutions established in particular communities.
Circumstantial factors relate to the context of communication and the actual activities involved. SOW 4
The integration that is typically required in human communication depends on the possibility of coordinating sequences of activities involving factors of all three kinds. SLC 28
Failures of communication result from a breakdown in one or more of these factors.[Read the above]
From an integrationist perspective, the primary function of the sign is to integrate an individual's past, present and (anticipated) future experience. That is an essential prerequisite for making sense of any situation in which we are involved. Without it, there can be no question of communication. The Macrosocial can be described as containing proficiencies, practices and conformities.
Macrosocial proficiencies are practices that are widespread and for which there is general awareness of them in the community (speaking a certain language, using certain tools, following certain occupations, etc.) SLC 29
Particular individuals may or may not possess them and some will possess them to a higher degree than others. SLC 29
Macrosocial practice: those for which there is no general awareness, e.g., a rise in the consumption of certain products. Sound change, as traditionally studied in historical linguistics is a typically macrosocial phenomenon of this type. Only certain aspects of it ever enter into ordinary individuals experience of language, even though their own speech behaviour is instrumental in bringing such changes about. SLC 20-30
Macrosocial conformity: In these cases, it does not make sense to speak of macrosocial proficiency, but only macrosocial conformity (with the provisio that this is not understood in the sense of conscious alignment). SLC 30
Someone who goes to the cinema the same number of times as the average for the community is not conforming to a macrosocial practice (nor demonstrating a macrosocial proficiency) in the same sense as as the person who habitually plays a game of chess in accordance with the rules is conforming to a macrosocial practice (and thereby also demonstrating a certain level of macrosocial proficiency). SLC 30
Community is thus constituted by the macrosocial
Speech Community as an idealized notion refers to a group of people who share: 1) a language in common;2) common ways of using language;3) common reactions