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(1977). Psychoanalytic Review. LXIII, 1976: New Considerations on the Infantile Acquisition of Language and Symbolic Thought. David Bleich. Pp. 49-71.. Psychoanal Q., 46:715-715.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychoanalytic Review. LXIII, 1976: New Considerations on the Infantile Acquisition of Language and Symbolic Thought. David Bleich. Pp. 49-71.

(1977). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 46:715-715

Psychoanalytic Review. LXIII, 1976: New Considerations on the Infantile Acquisition of Language and Symbolic Thought. David Bleich. Pp. 49-71.

The acquisition of language occurs in a certain definite order in all cultures. At about eighteen months, a change takes place in which the child moves from one-word usage to two or more words. The consistency of this change indicates a maturational step in the development of the child. Piaget's work shows this change to be more general, occurring in language, conceptions of causality, time and space; i.e., a stage of symbolic or representational intelligence which begins at about eighteen months. Piaget's work also shows the precursors of this change. Bleich attempts to correlate this cognitive development with psychoanalytic understanding of affective development. The cognitive component of the ability to recognize mother is goaded into existence by mother's absence. Thus both affective loss of mother, leading to the concept mother, and affective presence of mother and material objects, leading to concepts of permanent objects, motivate the formation of cognitive schemata. The capacity to represent a lost object and the capacity to call for the object lead to the linguistic ability to "predicate." When "Mommy gone" states current absence and also indicates future presence based on past experience, the child has developed the ability to "predicate" and has created a dependence between the two words as symbols, which enables him to be independent of the immediate real experience of the objects. Thus this cognitive development meets a need for separation and individuation. Children's toilet training—their separation from their feces—is dependent on this conceptual ability. Bleich illustrates the usefulness of the conceptualization with data from the life of Helen Keller.

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Article Citation

(1977). Psychoanalytic Review. LXIII, 1976. Psychoanal. Q., 46:715-715

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