Sunday, March 1, 2009

Problems of neurolinguistics

In his conclusion, Luria notes that the new field of neurolinguistics presents some difficulties for the would-be practitioner because it requires a skillful level of proficiency in "neurological, psychophysiological, and linguistic knowledge" ( Luria, 1974a, p. 2591).

Semantics, Phonetics and Orienting reaction

With respect to their goal of defining the dynamics and structure of the semantic system, the authors come to two conclusions:
the words are divided into three groups: (1) the nucleus of the semantic complex, to which is related the key word and words in direct semantic proximity to it (they evoke a specific pain reaction); (2) the periphery of the semantic system to which are related words linked less directly with the key word (evoking a non-specific orienting reaction); and (3) neutral words, which in our experiment did not evoke any specific or orienting reactions.
The correlation of these groups at various stages of the experiments may be different, and if at the beginning of the experiment the nucleus of the semantic system has a relatively generalized character, then later it becomes concentrated and only the key word continues to provoke a specific reaction, while the remaining words, which earlier were included in this nucleus, move into the semantic periphery and begin to evoke only a non-specific orienting reaction. ( Luria & Vinogradova, 1959, pp. 99-100)

Traumatic Aphasia Scheme

While others might speak of aphasias in general, Luria presents his own organizational schema. First of all, he groups aphasias into three basic groups according to severity: (1) Total Aphasia is characterized by a total block of production and/or comprehension of speech. The disturbance is severe and lasts at least two or three weeks. (2) Well Expressed Aphasia includes those cases where the symptoms are relatively severe but do not involve a total block of speech activity. (3) Subtle, Slight Aphasia involves cases wherein the disturbance is not always evident at all times. It may appear most strongly only during instances of emotional disturbance or fatigue ( Luria, 1970b, pp. 34-35). Because initial trauma to the brain often results in a temporary disturbance of speech activity, Luria is emphatic that judgments with respect to symptoms and severity should be made only during the residual stage, which is the period 2 to 5 months after the trauma.
In addition to grouping by severity, Luria follows the classification schema that was encountered in earlier articles: acoustic aphasia, afferent motor aphasia, efferent motor aphasia, frontal dynamic aphasia, and semantic aphasia.
Of particular interest with respect to the focus of this book is a section wherein Luria, with his usual attention to philosophical bases of research, precedes his presentation of specific types of aphasia with a consideration of "The Structure of Speech Activity." In this brief section, he presents his explanation of when speech phylogenetically became intrinsically linked to thought:
The isolated words of which verbal speech consisted in its earliest stages of development were capable of reflecting separate signs or primitive concepts, but they could not express even elementary thoughts. The meaning of a word shifted depending upon the situation and was nonexistent outside certain situations. Whereas words possessed a nominative function from the beginning, the predicative function derived only from the concrete setting in which they were uttered. A decisive change occurred when speech went from consisting of individual words to consisting of elementary grammatical sentences, when instead of a single word there arose a pair or group of words related to one another, i.e., when the first "syntax" appeared.
The revolution which occurred at this phase in the development of language was truly phenomenal . . . . verbal speech became capable not only of designating an object, but also of formulating a thought. Verbal speech was still bound up with other forms of expression such as gesture and intonation, but with the development of written language thought came to be expressed altogether by means of language and speech became fully capable of performing the predicative function. Speech became an independent system of codes. ( Luria, 1970b, p. 83)
Because the development and structure of speech is so complex, Luria maintains that any consideration of its disturbance cannot be simplified and considered to be merely
disturbances or the speech images of words or . . . the inability to pronounce words. The basic forms of speech disturbances must result from defects in the systems of connections which are concealed behind the word on one hand and in the disintegration of the predicative function of speech on the other. The whole sense of verbal statements resides in this function. Similarly, the cerebral mechanisms which underlie speech processes cannot be at-

Speech and Orienting response

Frontal Lobes and the Regulation of Arousal Processes" ( 1970) was co-authored with E. D. Khomskaya, and appeared in Attention: Contemporary Theory and Analysis. The article reports on the results of studies conducted with normal subjects and brain lesion patients in an effort to ascertain the role of the frontal lobes in the regulation of arousal processes or the orienting reflex. The orienting reflex is
a complex functional system which includes a series of somatic, sensory, vegetative, electrocephalographic, and other components. While having a certain autonomy, all components of the orienting reflex obey common laws: they appear with the presentation of stimuli which are new for the organism; they have a nonspecific character, i.e., they do not depend on the modality of the stimulus; they disappear in proportion to repetition; and reappear with any changes in the experimental situation. Another no less important factor that elicits orienting reactions, is the significance or signal meaning of the stimuli. ( Luria & Khomskaya, 1970, pp. 303-304)
The authors demonstrate that, anatomically and neurologically, a number of connections exist between the frontal lobes and those structures of the limbic system and brain stem that are responsible for states of wakefulness, arousal, and the orienting reflex. The latter structures provide the efferent link in the system while the afferent link seems to be located at the cortical level.
The most significant finding of the experiments for our purposes is the fact that in humans one can regulate the orienting reflex by means of speech, which does physiologically modify the same:
If, by means of speech, stimuli are given signal meaning, a series of changes in the system of the orienting reflex occurs, namely: extinguished orienting reactions reappear and become more intensive (their latent period is shortened, their strength and duration is increased), they do not extinguish any more, and they arise for a wider range of intensities (as a result of the lowering of the threshold of sensation and the elevation of the threshold of the defense reaction). In this situation, the orienting reactions become more discriminating. They are not responsive to any outside nonsignal stimuli. Similar changes in the system of the orienting reflex occurring with the introduction of verbal instructions are observed in all normal subjects who are in an awake state (grownups and children, beginning from 8-10 years of age). ( Luria & Khomskaya, 1970, p. 304)
The authors indicate that this regulation of the orienting reflex by means of speech is such an essential characteristic of human mental functioning that it "may serve as an important indicator of the normally functioning brain" ( Luria & Khomskaya, 1970, p. 305). The balance of the article recounts their endeavors to test this hypothesis, and their conclusion

Reviewing his research findings on the role of the frontal lobes in the activation processes, verbally programmed behavior, and problem solving activity, Luria notes that "Each human activity starts from definite intention, directed at a definite goal, and is regulated by a definite program which demands that a constant state of cortical tone be maintained" ( Luria, 1973a, p. 5). It is his conclusion that the frontal lobes have vital roles in the state of activation that arises when the brain has some task to perform.
In addition, the frontal lobes are vital in the process whereby the orienting reflex is intensified and stabilized as a result of verbal instruction, so Luria concludes that they have a vital role in specifically human forms of attention.

Cole: implications of functional systems on lesions

The first is that the cerebral component of any functional cortical system results from the interaction of a constellation of cerebral areas. Thus, a functional system is localizable in the sense that damage to any one of the areas involved destroys the functional system. Defects will appear in the psychological activities dependent upon this functional cortical system. Second, a given psychological activity, for example, reading, may be performed in different ways, that is, by different functional cortical systems. Thus, a psychological activity is not localizable in the sense that if damage to a structure destroys a functional cortical system upon which reading is based another functional system cannot be developed which would carry out that same activity of reading. Third, the most important adaptive functions that man possesses, such as abstraction, computation, and speech itself, depend upon functional cortical systems which are acquired rather than innate. The fourth major assumption is that the most important determinant of functional cortical systems in man is the organization of the social environment. ( Cole & Maltzman, 1969, p. 278)

adynamic aphasia , inner speech and rehab

"The Mechanism of 'Dynamic Aphasia'" ( 1968) was co-authored with L. S. Tsvetkova, and postulates that dynamic aphasia is a disturbance of "inner speech with its predicative function, which takes place in forming the structure or scheme of a sentence, . . ." ( Luria & Tsvetkova, 1968, p. 297). The article reports on their attempts to test this by experiments with 15 patients with dynamic aphasia and 15 normal subjects. The aphasia patients exhibited more difficulty in naming actions than in naming objects, and could not form sentences out of all the separate words necessary to do so. Normal patients had no difficulty with either task. External cues (such as pieces of paper) assisted the subjects in compensating for this loss of the "linear scheme of the phrase . . ." ( Luria & Tsvetkova, 1968, p.
"Frontal Lobe Syndromes" ( Luria, 1969a) constitutes a chapter in the Handbook of Clinical Neurology, Vol. 2, edited by P. J. Vinken and G. W. Bruyn , and provides a comprehensive consideration of the morphology and functioning of the frontal lobes.
Luria provides such basic information as the fact that the frontal lobes are the youngest portion of the cerebral hemispheres evolutionarily; comprise approximately one third of the total human cerebral cortex; and consist of three main regions: the motor area, the premotor area, and the prefrontal area together with the mediobasal aspects of the frontal region. The complexity of this area of the brain is evidenced by the fact that Layer III of the neocortex in Area 6 of the premotor area contains approximately 207 million pyramidal cells. Because each cell may have 2-3,000 synapses, the reader can gain some appreciation of the multiplicity of connections with other areas of the brain of which the frontal lobes are capable.
The most complex zones of the frontal lobes do not complete their physical development until the individual is 7-12 years of age; and the integrative tertiary zones of cortical development are found in the prefrontal region.
A detailed analysis is presented of the morphological, physiological, and clinical data on each of the three regions of the frontal lobes. Of particular interest are the disturbances of higher mental processes and speech that result from lesions in these regions. These have been presented in the reviews of other articles on the frontal lobe syndrome, but this chapter presents the same in more detail and states:
Analysis of these disturbances shows that they are based on difficulty in performing complex movements generalized in time. There is difficulty in denervating one link and moving on smoothly to the next. This disturbance of "kinetic melodies" is the fundamental symptom of a premotor lesion . . . . ( Luria, 1969a, p. 731)
With respect to how frontal lobe lesions affect speech, Luria states that
If the lesion is situated in the inferior portions of the premotor area of the dominant (left) hemisphere, phenomena similar to the disturbances of kinetic melodies described above may also appear in speech and verbal thinking. The patients of this group begin to have difficulty in fluent speech, their speech becomes interrupted, and difficulties arise in the transition from one element of articulation to another. Similar phenomena of the loss of smoothness (and sometimes of perseveration) may also appear in writing. ( Luria, 1969a, p. 733)
If the symptoms are severe, one has a case of efferent (or kinetic) motor aphasia.
The symptoms of frontal lobe lesions vary somewhat, of course, depending upon the location of the lesion; however, Luria indicates that there are two main symptoms that occur
in almost every massive lesion of the prefrontal regions. The first of these symptoms was a disturbance of the complex forms of active purposive behavior, and the second a disturbance of the critical attitude towards the patient's own defects. Both of these components of the "frontal syndrome" were observed as a rule in all massive lesions of the frontal lobes, although they varied in lesions of the convex and basal portions of the frontal region, and differed depending on the severity of the lesion . . . . ( Luria, 1969a, p. 738)
When such characteristics arise from a lesion of the left prefrontal region, they are manifested in speech activity and verbal thinking and distinguish the aphasia Luria labels dynamic aphasia.

Vocate: more on inner speech

External speech includes the spoken language first of others in the child's social environment and thus is the stage that includes the initial sociocultural origins of spoken language. The child's external speech is initially imitative and then evolves into egocentric speech, which, according to Luria, serves a special function in aiding the child in organizing his behavior, and is characterized by its "coding for self" nature. Such speech is gradually internalized, and becomes internal or inner speech. However, in the process of internalization, it is modified somewhat so that its most distinctive feature becomes its predicative nature and it becomes characterized by its ellipsis, synthesis of meaning, and silence. A. R. Luria presumes a familiarity by his reader with these basic developmental stages,

Vocate: written and inner speech

the functional and structural features of written speech . . . have . . . one important aspect; they inevitably lead to a considerable development of inner speech. Delaying the direct revelation of speech connections, inhibiting them and showing increased requirements for the preliminary speech act not being revealed at once by training, written speech produces such a rich development of inner speech as could not have a place in the earlier phases of development. Therefore, neuropathologists are not working at random when, desiring to investigate the possibilities of inner speech, they turn to the nature of the written speech of their patients. ( Luria, 1961d, p. 738)

Vocate Luria on consciousness

"'Brain and Conscious Experience'": A Critical Notice from the U.S.S.R. of the Symposium Edited by J. C. Eccles ( 1966)" ( 1967a) is Luria's review for the British Journal of Psychology of the transcript of an international symposium on brain/consciousness called by the Vatican Academy of Sciences and organized by its President, Sir John Eccles.
Luria chides the majority of the prominent participants for their archaic philosophical orientations to the brain/consciousness question, and notes that
In spite of the fact that the definitions of consciousness given by the participants were varied, not one of them understood consciousness as the reflexion of objective reality, as "conscious being" or as complex activity which has a semantic and systematic structure. ( Luria, 1967a, p. 469)
Rather, according to Luria, the participants were roughly divided into two groups: one group, exemplified by Penfield, sought the material basis for consciousness inside the brain and anticipated discovery of the formations in neuronal structure that give rise to this phenomenon; the other group, typified by MacKay, rejected any study of neuronal structure and called for the study of logical systems concerned with the processing of information, which are somehow the basis for conscious experience.
After reviewing the new directions in brain research represented at the symposium, Luria goes on to note that the central problem of the conference was "the question of the role played by the non-specific system of the brain stem in providing an active and waking state for the cerebral hemispheres . . . ." ( Luria, 1967a, p. 471). This problem arises from the knowledge that the non-specific reticular system of the brain stem interacts with the specific or cortical formations of the brain--stimulating and receiving stimulation.

Vocate: More on PD rehab

The dominance of the cortical level over the sub-cortical level is adduced by Luria's research with Parkinson's disease patients ( 1959b, 1960b, 1961a, 1967d), which demonstrated that it is possible to transfer the control of defective involuntary (sub-cortical) motor behaviors to the voluntary (cortical) motor areas so that the subject can still perform the desired action because the pathology has left the cortical areas intact.
In Parkinson's disease patients:
The injured subcortical apparatus excites repeated tonic responses, and the pathologically perseverating tension of all muscles is an obstacle to the execution of the instruction. It is easy to imagine such a difficulty in carrying out a voluntary movement if one briefly tenses all the muscles of one hand and then tries to move it without relaxing the tension. ( Luria, 1959b, p. 455)
However, if the origin of the motor act is shifted from the automatic movement realm governed by the sub-cortical motor apparatus to the conscious movement domain of the cortical motor areas, the patient is able to carry out the required movements. This may be accomplished by
attaching a symbolic function to his movements. He is asked to reply to the experimenter's questions by beating out the necessary numbers with his finger. If we then ask him, "How many wheels on a car?" or "How many points on a compass?" we see that the same patient who had failed in the previous experiment and could not automatically strike the table with his fingers even two or three times, easily begins to do so, switching his movements into his speech system and subordinating them to the complex dynamic constellation of cortical connections. ( Luria, 1959b, p. 455)
Similarly, the Parkinson's disease patient who is unable to walk more than one or two steps will find that his difficulties
in successive automatic movements may be compensated for temporarily if they are transferred to the cortical level, and if the continuous movement is superseded by a cycle of isolated responses to individual stimuli. Such a patient cannot take several steps on a smooth floor but can easily cross several lines marked on the floor or several objects placed on the floor. ( Luria, 1967d, p. 417)
Such mechanisms force the control of the normally automatic components of walking to the conscious, voluntary control of the cortical level by separating them into individual responses to individual stimuli, thus requiring cortical level processing.

Vocate: What language means (Luria)

The function of generalisation is the main function of human speech, without which mastery of the experience of preceding generations would be impossible. But it would be wrong to think that this is the only basic function of speech. Language is not only a means of generalisation; it is at the same time the source of thought.
When the child masters language he gains the potentiality to organise anew his perception, his memory; he masters more complex forms of reflection of objects in the external world; he gains the capacity to draw conclusions from his observations, to make deductions, the potentiality of thinking.
When the child names something, pronouncing, for example, "that is a steam engine," he is at the same time analysing with the aid of means developed through many generations . . . . Saying the word "steam engine" (paravoz) he begins to understand that in the movement of the machine named steam (par) plays a role and that it moves other objects. In mastering words and using them the child analyses and synthesises the phenomena of the external world, using not only his personal experience but the experience of mankind. He classifies objects, he begins to perceive them differently and with this to remember them differently.
But the speech mastered by the child does not consist of single words; it consists of complex grammatical combinations, of whole expressions. These expressions allow not only for the analysis and synthesis of perception, but also the connection of things with actions, and still more the posing of things in certain relations with each other. Acquiring forms of developed, connected, speech the child acquires the potentiality not only to form concepts but also to draw conclusions from accepted assumptions, to master logical connections, to cognise laws, far surpassing the boundaries of direct, personal experience; in sum, he masters science, gains the potentiality to foresee and foretell phenomena, which he could not do by merely witnessing them.
What has been said up to now does not fully cover the role of language, the role of speech, in the formation of man's mental processes. Speech activity besides being a means of generalising and the source of thought is also a means of regulating behaviour. ( Luria, 1963c, pp. 85-86)

Vocate: Luria on PD, cerebroasthenia, oligophrenia

Evidence is then presented on how the directive function of speech is affected in three types of neural disorders: Parkinson's disease, cerebroasthenic syndrome, and oligophrenic children.
The sub-cortical area is damaged in Parkinson's disease, but the cortical motor centers are fully intact. The sub-cortical motor centers' damage causes muscles to exhibit a pathological perseverating tension soon after any initial movement, and thus involuntary action becomes impossible. However, movement can be tied to cortical control by requesting the patient to tap his finger once each time the interviewer says, "Now," and thereby controlled for longer periods. In addition, linking the movement more closely with the patient's speech system by imbuing it with a symbolic function also resulted in the patient demonstrating no difficulty in controlling his execution of movement (finger taps) in response to "How many wheels on a car?" or similar questions.
In cases of cerebroasthenic syndrome, the cortex exhibits a stimulational weakness because neural strength is weakened and equilibrium of the neural processes is impaired. In other words, the cortex itself is in a pathological state, rather than just the sub-cortical processes, as in Parkinson's disease. However, Luria found that the verbal response of a child with this syndrome suffered less than his motor processes. Khomskaya's experiments are presented as evidence that it is the inhibitory or semantic
aspect of speech that is still capable of directing the child's behavior because nonsense syllables or irrelevant utterances had no influence on the child's motor reactions.
The speech system is more drastically affected in cases of oligophrenia. This is a form of deep mental retardation that results from intrauterine or very early childhood damage to the brain, and:
It is particularly characteristic of these children that the dynamics of neural processes underlying speech activity are in their case impaired not less, but more than the dynamics of neural processes which are materialized in simpler sensorimotor reactions. ( Luria, 1959b, p. 458)

Vocate: Luria Developmental and Dissolutiona;

During the approximately 20 years before his next English publication on the verbal regulation of behavior, Luria expanded and refined his concept of speech being the mechanism whereby behavior is directed. A twopart article appeared in Word ( 1959) entitled "The Directive Function of Speech in Development and Dissolution." As might be anticipated, the two parts reflect his two fundamental strategies: Part I presents the developmental view, and Part II is concerned with the pathological view.
In "Part I: Development of the Directive Function of Speech in Early Childhood" ( 1959a), Luria outlines the stages by which verbal signals gradually supplant the directive influence of the immediate visual signal for the child. Speech has both an excitatory and an inhibitory function; and developmentally, the excitatory precedes the inhibitory. Due to the insufficient mobility of the 3-31/2 year-old child's neurodynamics, the excitatory is still strongest so that if one alternates excitatory and inhibitory

stimuli to a child of that age, the excitatory will come to dominate and motor perseveration will result.
The impulsive or excitatory aspect of speech continues to dominate until approximately 4-41/2 years. Then,
as soon as the directive role passes to the semantic aspect of speech and that aspect becomes dominant, external speech becomes superfluous. The directive role is taken over by those inner connections which lie behind the word, and they now begin to display their selective effect in directing the further motor responses of the child. ( Luria, 1959a, p. 351)
In "Part II: Dissolution of the Regulative Function of Speech in Pathological States of the Brain" ( 1959b), Luria maintains that for external speech to influence behavior, the subject must not only hear the verbal instruction but also:
A number of further conditions must be fulfilled; important among them is the maintenance of the strength, the equilibrium,

Vocate: Characteristics of speech, Luria

General Characteristics--Spoken Language
Spoken language is a higher mental process, and embodies all the characteristics of such processes:
It has sociocultural origins.
It is a complex functional system built on a functional base of the more elementary sensory systems of the brain, and is capable of controlling such systems.
It arises from a material base that is a "complex functional system of conjointly working cortical zones . . ." ( Luria, 1966b, p. 35).
It evolves through a pattern of developmental stages rather than existing as a static, innate quality of the brain.
It has a mediated structure in that it incorporates auxiliary stimuli ("stimuli artificially introduced into the situation") ( Vygotsky, 1966, p. 24), which are usually produced by the individual himself.
It is distinguished by the fact that the speech system is always a factor in its formation.
It is originally both conscious and voluntary in nature rather than being passive and merely reflexive.

Spoken language is the most readily influenced of all the higher mental processes.
Spoken language can be either excitatory or inhibitory as a stimulus. Developmentally, the excitatory or impulsive aspect precedes the inhibitory or semantic aspect of spoken language.
Functionally, spoken language has three dimensions:
It is a form of social communication.
It is a tool for intellectual activity.
It is a method of organizing or regulating mental processes.
Spoken language's process can be subdivided into two processes: impressive speech or decoding, and expressive speech or encoding.
Spoken language has both a paradigmatic (vertical) and a syntagmatic (horizontal) structure.
Spoken language's semantic component includes both "sense" and "meaning."
Spoken language is sympractic in nature.
As previously noted, the term spoken language is synonymous with Luria's term speech, and is used to reflect the inclusion of psychological activities as well as the code of language in this theoretical unit. Other terminology used above in outlining the general characteristics of spoken language is clarified during discussions of these characteristics in the ensuing chapters concerning various topical areas of Luria's work.

Vocate: Luria on development of language

supported by extralinguistic (sympractic) aids--knowledge of the situation, facial expression, gestures . . . information can be transmitted by extralinguistic aids, and incomplete expansion, ellipsis, the participation of intonation, and so on, can exist. ( Luria, 1976a, pp. 36-37)
Although this difference may be observed in the successive developmental states of childhood language acquisition, it originates in the historical development of language:
It is an important fact that in the early period of history language did not include all the constructions necessary to express a complex communication. Language itself was an inseparable part of practical activity, it had a relatively simple structure, and the adequate understanding of these relatively simple constructions requires the participation of a "sympractic context"; for this reason, primitive languages could remain unknown without knowledge of the concrete situation in which a particular communication was used, of the gestures that accompanied it, of the intonation with which it was uttered, and so on. That is why, as the famous ethnologist Malinowski ( 1930) pointed out, the expressions used by many peoples standing at a primitive level of social development can be understood only if the concrete situation is known and if their gestures are observed . . . .
Only in the course of its long historical development has language gradually developed its own "synsemantic" forms of expression of relations, and so, as Buhler ( 1934) stated, it has become "a system that includes in itself all the means of expressiveness." Thus the whole evolution of language can with full justification be represented as the path of liberation from dependence on the sympractic context and of gradual formulation of methods increasing the role of the linguistic (grammatically constructed) synsemantic context proper. ( Luria, 1976a, p. 156)
To say

Vocate Luria on oral v written speech

Careful analysis by Vygotskii ( 1956) and El'konin ( 1954) indicated that written speech represents an entirely new psychological phenomenon, different from oral speech.
Oral speech forms during immediately practical intercourse and its component elements long remain insufficiently conscious, unseparated by the child from general speech activity ( Morozova, 1948; Karpova, 1955). Written speech follows exactly the opposite course. It is always the product of special training, which presupposes the separation of individual words from the flow of living speech and individual sounds from the living word. It also involves abstraction from individual phonations of sounds and the conversion of sounds into stable phonemes. This process of analysis, described in the Soviet literature by Luria ( 1950), Nazarova ( 1952), and others is a necessary technical premise for the act of writing, which from the very beginning requires conscious effort.
Oral speech always originates in close connection with immediate experience, as, for example, in sympractical and situational activity. It relies on intonation and gesture and usually becomes intelligible only if the general setting of the conversation is considered. It permits extensive abbreviation. For a prolonged period it continues to bear traces of the period when the subject was contained in speech and the predicate in a gesture, a tone, or in the immediate situation. Written speech . . . is deprived of this sympractical context, and therefore it must be more detailed, contextual, or, to use Buhler's term, synsemantic. Written speech like a work of art, to paraphrase Leonardo da Vinci, should contain within itself all means of expressiveness and in no way depend on the concrete environment. ( Luria, 1969c, pp. 141142)

Vocate: Luria on speech v language

Spoken Language
The speech system that reorganizes mental activity to permit the conscious voluntary functioning of higher mental processes is very complex and includes both speech and language. These components are often studied in isolation from each other; yet, as Luria indicates, the origins of speech and language are intertwined:
Under the conditions of primitive society language began to develop as a means of communication; there, in accordance with laws not yet known to us, verbal speech appeared. In the development of verbal speech words gradually became separated from work activities and from signalling gestures; words began to abstract and at the same time to generalize various characteristics of objects. They thus achieved designating and at the same time generalizing-systematizing functions.
In later social history language attained its complex, phonetic, lexical, and grammatical structure and gradually became the objective system of codes which is well known to contemporary linguistics. ( Luria, 1970b, pp. 20-21)
This complexity, which developed gradually, necessitates the separation of "verbal speech" into its speech and language components before one can hope for a clear understanding of the phenomenon:
It was de Saussure who was responsible for the clear differentiation between the concept of language (langue), as an objective system of sounds formed in the course of history, and the concept of speech (parole), by which he understood the process of transmission of information with the aid of the language system . . . . ( Luria, 1976a, p. 10)
The term language is used throughout the book to refer to an "objective system of codes" as Luria defined it; or more precisely to "The culturally determined syntactic systematization of signs and/or symbols" ( Dance, 1979, p. 2). This conceptual definition will assist in understanding the theoretical unit of spoken language although it is not sufficient to delineate the same.

Notes on Donna Vocate

1. Vygotsky's view was that language arose not in the psychic nor the physical but in social history

2. Every function in the child's cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (interpsychological), and then inside the child (intrapsychological). This applies equally to voluntary attention, to logical memory, and to the formation of concepts. All higher functions originate as actual relations between human individuals. ( Vygotsky, 1978, p. 57)

3. There is reason to believe that voluntary activity, more than highly developed intellect, distinguishes humans from the animals which stand closest to them. ( Vygotsky, 1978, p. 37)

4.General Characteristics--Higher Mental Processes
Higher mental processes have sociocultural origins. Consequently, such processes transcend the individual's experience and reflect the cultural level of the social environment of the individual.
Higher mental processes are complex functional systems built on a functional base of the more elementary sensory systems of the brain, and capable of controlling such systems.
Higher mental processes arise from a material base that is a "complex functional system of conjointly working cortical zones . . ." ( Luria, 1966b, p. 35).
Higher mental processes evolve through a pattern of developmental stages rather than existing as static, innate qualities of the brain.
Higher mental processes have a mediated structure in that they incorporate auxiliary stimuli ("stimuli artificially introduced into the situation" ( Vygotsky, 1966, p. 24), which are usually produced by the individual himself.
Higher mental processes are distinguished by the fact that the speech system is always a factor in their formation.
Higher mental processes are originally both conscious and voluntary in nature rather than being passive and merely reflexive.