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Language Turned on Itself – The Semantics and Pragmatics of Metalinguistic Discourse - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Language Turned on Itself: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Metalinguistic Discourse

Herman Cappelen and Ernest Lepore


This book examines what happens when language becomes self-reflexive; when language is used to talk about language. Those who think, talk, and write about language are habitual users of various meta-linguistic devices, but reliance on these devices begins early — kids are told, “That's called a rabbit”. It's not implausible that a primitive capacity for the meta-linguistic kicks in at the beginning stages of language acquisition. But no matter when or how frequently these devices are invoked, one thing is clear: they present theorists of language with a complex data pattern. This book shows th ... More

Keywords: meta-linguistic devices, language acquisition, devices, patterns, philosophy of language, quotation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780199231195
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231195.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Herman Cappelen, author
University of St Andrews, University of Oslo
Author Webpage

Ernest Lepore, author
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Author Webpage