Interjections are not half-verbalizations; they are words.  They
function as morphemes, that is, sounds that carry meaning on their own. 
The Chicago Manual Style defines an interjection as "a word, phrase, or
clause that denotes strong feeling" and, as I noted before, as "usually
grammatically independent of the rest of the sentence."

The CMS also distinguishes between "Oh" and "the vocative O, a form of
classically stylized direct address. . . as in "O Jerusalem!"  None of
this is the pre-verbal; it is the verbal and is quite clearly part of
the realm of the symbolic, not babbling of sounds and not image without
linguistic difference.  

Here is Naomi Schor on the distinction as in Lacan:

"As Lacan's choice of the word Imaginary indicates, however, his
emphasis is on the  prevalence of the image in the pre-Oedipus, on the
manner in which the human subject's ego is constituted through a process
of identification with images:  the images of the other as self (mother)
and of the self as other (mirror image).  Because all inter- and
intransubjective relationships are rooted in narcissism and illusionism,
the subject is prey  to the lure of identification as well as to deathly
struggles for prestige.  the Symbolic register, equivalent to Freud's
Oedipus, is presided over by the father and the cultural order he
represents:  the subject enters into the Symbolic order at the very
moment when she is inscribed in the kinship system and is, as it were,
reinscribed when she acquires language and, through the mediation of the
father, takes her place in society.  Whereas the Imaginary implies
identity as well as identification, the Symbolic relies on difference,
sexual (castration) as well as linguistic." 

I am not validating any of this; I am just quoting it to point to the
distinction between Imaginary and Symbolic as not just about verbal and
pre-verbal but about image and symbolic sounds.  Interjections rely on
difference in the same way as any other word.

As for birds, they don't babble; they sing specific notes with specific
patterns.  Some even have dialects.  A bird that does not hear its own
species sing in its first few months will never sing it correctly--just
as humans totally deprived of language up to puberty never fully learn
language (though there are only a tiny number of such cases that have
been studied and they are terrible stories.)  When Eliot speaks of the
song of the thrush, it is a very specific song--a pattern of consistent
and recognizable notes, not undifferentiated sounds.


Nancy, interjections are not words, otherwise why we we call them
interjections? They are half-verbalizations, like a baby's babbling or
its first syllables, da da  or ma ma. Drip drop and co co ri co are
transcriptions of nature's utterances. It seems to me Eliot's use of
these syllables - jug jug and walaleia and the rest, illustrate the
narrator's voyage of discovery into a more primitive area in the self
(perhaps to an Edenic state where nature spoke to us) unaffected by
conditioned or learned behaviors such as languages and social customs,
back to the beginning of which Eliot writes, to the absolute Word
beneath all words, the Silence. Language itself is a theme in Eliot.

I'm guessing that Freud's equating of the law with the father was
conditioned by bourgeoise Victorian family structure where the mother
was the angel in the house and the father went out into the world, but
why Julia Kristeva, a professional woman in today's world, adopts that
paradigm is difficult to understand. Diana

>>> Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> 07/22/07 9:52 AM >>>