On Reflexive Language and Its Manifestations in Discourse

Dr. Mihaita Horezeanu
N everyday life we do not only speak a certain language to communicate our ideas, intentions, feelings, etc. but also speak about that language; and we do this for different purposes – when we want to make a comment on, express an attitude towards, criticize, etc. what we or other participants in a conversation are saying. Inevitably, we can only use language to talk about language. This brings about a shift of level from that of talking about something to that of talking about the talk itself. For the latter level the prefix meta- has been traditionally used since Alfred Tarski in the 1930s, followed by a variety of terms reflecting various linguistic theories or simply, various immediate concerns: e.g. language, discourse, communication, talk, narrative, text, grammar, etc.