ERIC Number: EJ1052598
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
The Importance of Form in Skinner's Analysis of Verbal Behavior and a Further Step
Vargas, E. A.
Analysis of Verbal Behavior, v29 p167-183 2013
A series of quotes from B. F. Skinner illustrates the importance of form in his analysis of verbal behavior. In that analysis, form plays an important part in contingency control. Form and function complement each other. Function, the array of variables that control a verbal utterance, dictates the meaning of a specified form; form, as stipulated by a verbal community, indicates that meaning. The mediational actions that shape verbal utterances do not necessarily encounter their controlling variables. These are inferred from the form of the verbal utterance. Form carries the burden of implied meaning and underscores the importance of the verbal community in the expression of all the forms of language. Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior and the importance of form within that analysis provides the foundation by which to investigate language. But a further step needs to be undertaken to examine and to explain the abstractions of language as an outcome of action at an aggregate level.
Descriptors: Behaviorism, Verbal Operant Conditioning, Verbal Communication, Linguistic Theory, Form Classes (Languages), Mediation Theory
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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