Part of the Springer Series in Language and Communication book series (SSLAN, volume 25)


Metalinguistic performance in its broadest sense can be understood as any objectification of language. Cazden (1976) observes that “as human beings... we can... not only learn and use language, but treat it as an object of analysis and observation in its own right” (p. 603). Under this interpretation, such everyday activities as proofreading a text, commenting on the regional accent of another speaker, making puns, and solving the New York Times crossword puzzle are examples of metalinguistic performance. Speakers may fail to realize how often and how expertly they function in ways metalinguistic. For example, to employ the word “latter” in a sentence such as I prefer cheesecake to sherbet, but the latter is less fattening requires monitoring of constituent order, and thus a metalinguistic perspective in normal language use (cf. Levelt, 1974, p. 8).1


Linguistic Competence Grammaticality Judgement Regional Accent Metalinguistic Awareness Metacognitive Model 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Romance Languages and Program in LinguisticsUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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