chapter  6
28 Pages

Slips and Composed Parallel Binding

In this chapter I consider simple discoordinations of timing and repetition, primarily involving language, such as misreading words, “slips” in typing and writing, and mishearing speech. Such examples are commonplace and deceptively simple on the surface. Analysis reveals patterns of rearrangement and substitution, which indicate an ordering and grouping mechanism that is operating in parallel on hierarchical levels to reproduce sequential relations in behavior. The conscious process and result is, as Bartlett (1932/1977) put it, “an imaginative reconstruction” (p. 213) of past experience. We find especially that perception is not a kind of input stage to understanding and action; rather, processes of scanning, forming units, and stringing sequences work together. More specifically, the examples reveal:

■ Experienced behavior in writing/typing and reading/hearing is serial; one thing follows another.