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From:  Charles Butler
Date:  Sat Jan 5, 2002  9:37 pm
Subject:  Re: "Metalinguistics"...what is it?

In Brasil, a professor from England spent a long time on meta-linguistics
and metalanguage.

Meta-language is how we learn a second language. We find a larger way than
a single language to connect to the world. Metalanguage is the process of
saying "arbol" and "tree" describe the same concept, a" thing in my back
yard with limbs and leaves which is larger than a bush."

When we talk about "language" we use "metalanguage".

For a person using English, there are several ways to communicate the same
language, speech, hearing, and writing. With sign language, there is
signing, reading sign, and with Sign Writing, reading as well. The
oral/aural component is missing, but the writing is a common "metalanguage."

Through using the common concept of "writing" to teach a signed language, a
Deaf child can learn that a language can appear not only on their hands and
bodies and be read from that but also with marks on paper that match up to
that movement of their hands. In the same way, they can make the leap
between "these marks on paper mean these movements" to "these marks on paper
mean this spoken language" even if I can't hear it.

Sign Writing has been doing metalanguage studies since its creation, any
time a Deaf child writes down a hearing concept into a signed concept on

Hope that helps.


  Replies Author Date
6156 Re: "Metalinguistics"...what is it? Charles Butler Sat  1/5/2002
6159 SW Presentation at Deaf Way Conference Valerie Sutton Sun  1/6/2002
6157 Re: "Metalinguistics"...what is it? Angus B. Grieve-Smith Sun  1/6/2002
6160 Re: "Metalinguistics"...what is it? Valerie Sutton Sun  1/6/2002
6158 Re: "Metalinguistics"...what is it? Valerie Sutton Sun  1/6/2002

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