Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Wikipedia.



a branch of linguistics that studies the aggregate of the ethnic, social, historical, and geographic factors that are inseparably linked to the development of language.

The distinction between external and internal linguistics originated with the Swiss linguist F. de Saussure, one of the founders of structural linguistics. He recognized that the culture, history, and customs of a people, the relationships between language and the social institutions (school, church, and so on), the geographic distribution of languages, and linguistic contacts can influence the development of language; however, he considered all this alien to the “organism of language”—to its system. He introduced the contrast of language and speech and of synchrony and diachrony. Language is independent of speech; consequently, its system does not depend on extralinguistic factors. On the other hand, the origin of a particular linguistic element that can be associated with some external factor is not essential for the study of the contemporary state of a language or a synchronic analysis of its system; only the relationships obtaining between the elements in a system are important.

Modern Soviet linguistics does not deny the existence of external and internal aspects of language. The interaction of external and internal linguistic factors is particularly evident during periods of intensive linguistic contacts and in cases of bilingualism and multilingualism.


Saussure, F. de. Kurs obshchei lingvistiki. Moscow-Leningrad, 1933. (Translated from French.)
Baudouin de Courtenay, I. A. “Nekotorye obshchie zamechaniia o iazykovedenii i iazyke.” Izbrannye trudy po obshchemu iazykoznaniiu, vol. 1. Moscow, 1963.
Budagov, R. A. Iz istorii iazykoznaniia (Sossiur i sossiureanstvo). Moscow, 1954.
Akhmanova, O. S., and V. Z. Panfilov. “Ekstralingyisticheskie i vnutrilingvisticheskie faktory v funktsionirovanii i razvitii iazyka.” Voprosy iazykoznaniia, 1963, no. 4.


References in periodicals archive ?
For this, the teachers need to revamp their pedagogical views, and to adapt a more flexible attitude in the existing system of language education in order to exploit the metalinguistic abilities of the learners.
Language development metalinguistic awarness and emergent literacy skills of 3 years old children in relation to social class", en Applied Psycholinguistics 15, pp.
The purpose of this study was to compare the opinions of female juvenile delinquents to the opinions of their teachers on students' communication and academic related behaviors involving metalinguistics and metacognitive skills.
Metalinguistic awareness and theory of mind: just two words for the same thing?
Besides a topical agenda, the words of the cited paragraph provide another iterative structure, that of metalinguistics.
The metalinguistics of fingerspelling: An alternate way to increase reading vocabulary in congenitally deaf readers.
One might mention, too, the affinities between Zen and such purely Western trends as the philosophy of Wittgenstein, Existentialism, General Semantics, the metalinguistics of B.
Ruth's research interests are in the areas of family literacy, the acquisition of reading, teachers' knowledge of metalinguistics, dyslexia and asperger's syndrome.
And the prefix "meta" as used in metatheory and metalinguistics is self-reflexive.
Throughout his writings, Bakhtin continually circled back around on his own concepts--answerability, excess of seeing, chronotope, heteroglossia, dialogism, carnival, metalinguistics, polyphony, and more--modifying and clarifying them, always contextualizing them.
Called 'The Metalinguistics of Dialogue,' it derives Bakhtin's use of 'metalinguistics' from Whorf, to mean that Bakhtin's methodology 'addresses problems [in language] exceeding the scope of linguistics' (p.