Can you give me a short and clear definiton of metalingual, paradigm, phatic, and conative?

Expert Answers
ac12 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

These are words that admit of various definitions, depending on the context, but it appears that you are asking for explanations of Jakobsonian terms. Three of these are 'functions' laid out by Roman Jakobson and the fourth is also a term used by structuralists.

First the three functions:

1) Metalingual:

This refers to the self-referential use of language. For example, in the sentence "'snow' has four letters," language is being used to talk about itself—that is, this is a metalingual function—as opposed to "snow is white" in which we are actually talking about snow.

2) Phatic:

The phatic function is when language is used for the sake of conversation or interaction. For example, greetings such as "hello" and chit-chat about the weather.

3) Conative:

The conative function is directed at the addressee and usually manifests itself in the imperative case ("Do this, John!") or the vocative ("Hey John!"). 

 The fourth is also an element of Jakobson's theory:

4) Paradigm:

A paradigm provides the structural context within which signs make sense.

linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

metalingual--using one chunk of text to define or explain another; using a story to define a term; related to metalanguage, which is a language used to make statements about another language. For instance, Hamlet's "To be or not to be" speech is the metalanguage of despair.

paradigm--something that serves as a pattern or model; a mindset; in grammar, it is an example of a conjugation or a declension.

phatic--speech used to share feelings or to establish a mood of sociability. For instance, no one expects an answer to "How are you?" It is phatic speech, used only socially.

conative--pertaining to desire or will; the power or act that directs or impels someone to effort of any kind.

jkl | Student

metalingual - changing between 2 specific languages that may only be : (->) arabic, from english, or the other way around. i know this as my mother is a linguist. it is only, however, w/ those 2 languages.

this was a correction donated on my behalf, tho u shud use the other answer also becoz we may both be right, just in different subject and profession and differing sciences.

i dont no any of the others tho, so lets go w/ the other persons stuff.

also, im 10, and have no idea wut im doing, so, again, ignore me.

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Linguistic Criticism - Poetry

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