Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Concept of Metalanguage

    When thinking about the concept of language, one might ask: Is there a difference between language and metalanguage? Unlike conducting a study of an animal or food, studying language is very complex because we are constantly using words and interpreting meaning. I do not think there can be a true metalanguage because we have to talk about language to understand how it works. Derrida brings about the perspective that we have to go where language leads us. This poses a question; Can we really explain or fully understand language if it is leading us? Because we are living with language all around, we cannot really define its structure. I like the comparison to a roller coaster because while in motion, we cannot really understand its structure. The same can be said about language; especially from parole, or the "street view." Ultimately, I would define metalanguage as being unexplainable in terms of language because we cannot expect to explain a concept in which we must use that concept to determine the explaination.


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