Definition of metalinguistics in US English:


plural noun

  • treated as singular The branch of linguistics that deals with metalanguages, self-reference in language, and the philosophy of science as it applies to linguistics.

    • ‘In the opinion of the author, metalinguistics is a systematic reflection on linguistic theories and linguistic texts (regarded as manifestations of a particular linguistic theory or concept).’
    • ‘Morphological awareness, as part of metalinguistics, involves reflection on language and its use and skills of monitoring and planning.’
    • ‘Results indicate a positive attitude to but poor knowledge of metalinguistics in the process of learning to read.’
    • ‘There is no introductory editorial discussing the title or theme of the volume or its intended audience, but the essays mostly deal with language and metalinguistics in some way.’
    • ‘We examine the role that Bakhtin's ‘metalinguistics’ plays for translators.’