metalanguage

(redirected from Conduit metaphor)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

metalanguage

[′med·ə‚laŋ·gwij]
(computer science)
A programming language that uses symbols to represent the syntax of other programming languages, and is used chiefly to write compilers for those languages.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

metalanguage

any ‘second order’ language used to discuss a language; any set or system of propositions about propositions.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Metalanguage

 

a basic concept in modern logic and theoretical linguistics, used in studying the languages of various mathematical logical calculi, natural languages, and the relations between languages of different “levels” and for determining the relations between the languages under consideration and the object realms that these languages describe.

Metalanguage is a language used to express judgments about another language, the object-language. Metalanguage is employed in the study of the structure of the sign-combinations (expressions) of an object-language, and in the demonstration of theorems about the object-language’s expressive, and perhaps deductive, capacity and about its relation to other languages. Like the object-language, the metalanguage may also be an ordinary (natural) language. The metalanguage may differ from the object-language (for example, in an English-language textbook for Russians, Russian is the metalanguage and English is the object-language), or it may coincide, or partly differ from it, for example, as far as special terminology is concerned. Russian linguistic terminology, for example, is a part of metalanguage for the description of Russian; semantic factors belong to a metalanguage that describes the semantics of natural languages.

The concept of metalanguage was introduced and became extremely productive in connection with the study of formalized languages—calculi constructed within the framework of mathematical logic. In contrast to formalized object-languages, metalanguage—which is used to formulate a metatheory for the study of an object-theory formulated in the object-language—is, as a rule, an ordinary natural language or, more precisely, part of a natural language that has been specially limited so as not to contain any ambiguities, metaphors, metaphysical concepts, or other elements of ordinary language that hinder its function as an instrument of precise scientific research. At the same time, metalanguage itself may be formalized, and, independently of this, may be the object of study of a metametalanguage, and so on, in a series that may conceivably progress ad infinitum.

However, as an instrument in the metatheoretical study of formalized languages that permit versatile and orthodox enough interpretations in the logical sphere, the metalanguage should in no way be “poorer” than its object-language (that is, each expression of the object-language should be “translatable” into the metalanguage); the metalanguage should contain expressions of higher “logical types” than does the object-language. Failure to fulfill these requirements (which inevitably occurs in natural languages if special steps are not taken) leads to semantic paradoxes (antinomies).

REFERENCES

Tarski, A. Vvedenie v logiku i metodologiiu deduktivnykh nauk. Moscow, 1948. (Translated from English.)
Kleene, S. C. Vvedenie v metamatematiku, Ch. 1. Moscow, 1957. (Translated from English.)
Church, A. Vvedenie v matematicheskuiu logiku, vol. 1. Moscow, 1960. (Introduction.) (Translated from English.)
Curry, H. B. Osnovaniia matematicheskoi logiki, chs. 1–3. Moscow, 1969. (Translated from English.)
IU. A. GASTEV and V. K. FINN
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

metalanguage

(1)
[theorem proving] A language in which proofs are manipulated and tactics are programmed, as opposed to the logic itself (the "object language"). The first ML was the metalanguage for the Edinburgh LCF proof assistant.

metalanguage

(2)
[logic] A language in which to discuss the truth of statements in another language.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

metalanguage

The language used to describe a language. "Noun," "verb" and "adjective" are metalanguage examples. See metadata.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
Let's review his second example: "She was screaming against a brick wall." This metaphor seems to support none of the metaphors directly; however, Krippendorff contends that it is an example of the conduit metaphor because the "brick wall" describes "a barrier to the flow" (p.
A perfect example of this is the conduit metaphor, which deals with electricity, still demonstrates remnants of the fluid metaphor used to explain the concept initially--terminology such as flows, breakages, bottlenecks, et cetera., are the visible remains of this initial origin.
Understanding metaphors for writing: In defense of the conduit metaphor. College Composition and Communication, 53(1), 92-118.
The "conduit metaphor" revisited: A reassessment of metaphors for communication.
GRADY, Joseph 1998: 'The "Conduit Metaphor" Revisited: A Reassessment of Metaphors for Communication'.
1979: 'The Conduit Metaphor: A Case of Frame Conflict in our Language about Language'.
While many who have investigated the conduit metaphor after Reddy have shared his distaste for it, it is not necessary to blame anything on it in order to realize that it is a remarkably poor model of what actually occurs in human spoken communication.
For writing, on the other hand, the conduit metaphor is not quite such a terrible match.
"Understanding Metaphors for Writing:In Defense of the Conduit Metaphor." College Composition and Communication 53.1 (2001): 92-118.
The framework of the Conduit Metaphor forces us to conceive of language structures as containers, and thoughts and feelings as objects we insert into them, successfully or unsuccessfully.
As Reddy points out, the inherent danger of the Conduit Metaphor is that it makes us think of communication as a simple process, like a drive-in bank's pneumatic tube, one that "guarantees success without effort" (p.295).
While Reddy's analysis of the Conduit Metaphor suggests its importance in our thinking about English, Reddy, Lakoff and Johnson missed what seems to me an obvious anatomical source for the prevalence of that metaphor.