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The Activity of Defining.

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This paper presents a rationale and a conceptual framework for a wider research project dealing with mathematical communication, and in particular with actions performed by interlocutors whenever they wish to clarify their use of a symbol, a word or an expression. The aim of such actions is often to repair a communicational breach resulting from differences in the interlocutors' uses of words. As was found in our study, only some of the defining actions would result in texts known as mathematical definitions. The point of departure of our research project is that the effectiveness of the defining actions is as much a function of the action itself as of its contexts. Our focus in this research is thus broader than in the past studies on definitions, and includes the when and why of defining along with their how. (Contains 7 footnotes and 4 figures.) [For complete proceedings, see ED500858.]

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Author:Nachlieli, Talli; Sfard, Anna
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2003
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