Definition of metalanguage in English:



  • 1A form of language or set of terms used for the description or analysis of another language.

    Compare with object language
    • ‘If we look at this argument closely, we perceive that what is at stake in her argument is precisely the impossibility of metalanguage in the revolutionary process.’
    • ‘Although a relatively objective metalanguage can be devised to describe and discuss poetry, individual response to it is necessarily subjective.’
    • ‘You begin to worry that the metalanguage we're using just isn't up to the job, and to think that maybe it's time to call in the philosophers, as Mark Liberman suggests.’
    • ‘A metalanguage is a language that supplies terms for analysing a language; a metametalanguage does the same for a metalanguage.’
    • ‘As generalized markup developments moved from the labs to the standards arena and started to become metalanguages, three basic parts to generalized markup language emerged.’
    1. 1.1Logic A system of propositions about propositions.
      • ‘Meaning (inhaltliche Mathematik) is then introduced at the metamathematical level, in the metalanguage.’
      • ‘Space limitations preclude a full proof of this in the metalanguage, although the reasoning is very similar to that given for the axiomatic Propositional Calculus discussed in Sections VI and VII below.’