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In their article "The language of text-messaging" (which appeared in 2009, in S.C. Herring, D. Stein & T. Virtanen (eds), Handbook of the Pragmatics of CMC. Berlin and New York: Mouton do Gruyter.), Crispin Thurlow and Michele Poff use the phrase,

Given this modest but growing body of research, it is surprising that public and policy-level discourse about text-messaging continues to fixate on its deleterious impact on literacy and standard language use -- especially of young people (see Thurlow 2006, 2007). No review of the literature on texting would, however, be complete without briefly considering this broader metadiscursive framework.

I googled this term "metadiscursive framework" and only got 8 hits, so I think it is relatively uncommon. The term "metadiscursive" is referring to "metadiscourse" which is discussion about a discussion (or maybe, about discussion). So I have a hand waving idea of what this means, but I will need to introduce it to the reader in plain language (using the magic of apposition).

Any ideas how I could define this term in plain language?

UPDATE

Here are some more examples of the term's usage:

From "Middle English medical recipes: a metadiscursive approach", here.

The first person singular pronoun is associated with authorial identity while its plural counterpart is connected to the concept of community. This is essential in the metadiscursive framework as it points at the idea of communication as always accounted for in terms of social contexts.

From "The Moral Resonance of Arab Media", here.

As I suggest, genre provides a way to discuss the organization of talk and poetry -- a "metadiscursive" framework -- as poets and signers build consensus over the kind of community that is best able to address the needs at hand.

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closed as too localized by FumbleFingers, jwpat7, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, Mitch, simchona Jul 8 '12 at 6:10

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Got a link for the article, or at least a reference? Context makes a difference with theoretical papers like this. Is it, for instance, criticism or linguistics? That can make a big difference in what words mean. –  John Lawler Jul 5 '12 at 0:07
    
You're misquoting the article. It says No review of the literature on texting would be complete, however, without briefly considering this broader metalinguistic framework. Besides which (as should be clear from the word "this"), the exact thing being referred to as a "metalinguistic framework" is given in the preceding sentence. So here, it means educationalists and others worrying about texting having a negative impact on literacy. –  FumbleFingers Jul 5 '12 at 0:08
    
@JohnLawler I've included a reference, unfortunately I couldn't find a link to the publication itself. As the FumbleFingers rightly points out, that word is replaced in the 2011 publication by "metalinguistic" (this doesn't change my question). I'll include more of the surrounding context. –  user23150 Jul 5 '12 at 0:17
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@user23150: If by "as a language learner" you mean you're not a native speaker, then as I suggested, you should probably look for less challenging texts. Both words have general-purpose dictionary definitions, so I really don't see why you've asked this question at all. The specific meaning in context is given by the very text you quote - asking us to explore other possible shades of meaning in other contexts seems pointlessly open-ended. –  FumbleFingers Jul 5 '12 at 0:53
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"The term 'metadiscursive' is referring to 'metadiscourse' which is discussion about a discussion (or maybe, about discussion). So I have a hand waving idea of what this means, but I will need to introduce it to the reader in plain language (using the magic of apposition). Any ideas how I could define this term in plain language?" You said it yourself: it's "a discussion about discussions" ~ what's wrong with that? –  J.R. Jul 5 '12 at 1:02

3 Answers 3

From your original post:

The term 'metadiscursive' is referring to 'metadiscourse' which is discussion about .. discussion. So I have a hand waving idea of what this means, but I will need to introduce it to the reader in plain language. Any ideas how I could define this term in plain language?

As you said, metadiscursive simply describes a discussion about discussions; that seems to describe the word in a fairly straightforward way. If you feel like framework needs clarification as well, you could say something along the lines of:

We are going to build a metadiscursive framework, that is, we will establish a structure that will let us discuss and analyze the nature of discussion.

Maybe that would do the trick?

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No review of the literature on texting would, however, be complete without briefly considering this broader metadiscursive framework.

I understand this sentence as an academic way to say "A review of this literature on texting should include a look at its context" (the context of the literature!).

The "metadiscourse" in this context is the literature (i.e. communication/discourse) on texting (i.e. communication/discourse).

The "framework" is a polished word for "context" here.

In your example, "Metadiscursive framework" is an academic (and shorter) way of saying "the context of the literature on texting*".

This gives us:

No review of the literature on texting would, however, be complete without briefly considering this broader context of the literature on texting.

It is that simple, once you wrap your head around it, which is not simple...

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In "The Moral Resonance of Arab Media", "metadiscursive framework" clearly means "a framework (a place) for discussing talk and poetry". Speaking about communication is always "metadiscourse", and the "framework" is whatever surrounds it/gives it room. –  Translator1983 Jul 5 '12 at 9:51

A "metadiscursive framework" is a framework (that is, a structure that supports some activity), which supports or enables metadiscourse.

In the passage by Thurlow and Poff, they are perhaps referring to the research that enables linguists to talk about the discussion surrounding texting messaging and its supposedly deleterious impact on language.

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Even after giving this tentative answer, I still don't feel comfortable using the term 'metadiscursive framework' in my own writing, so I can't accept this as the final answer to my question. –  user23150 Jul 5 '12 at 1:07
    
The copy I linked to contains Invariably, these metalinguistic - or language ideological - debates prioritize the belief that text messaging language has a negative impact. a couple of sentences later. Does your version also change that to "metadiscursive"? I utterly fail to get this question. It's either a typesetting error or Lit. Crit. –  FumbleFingers Jul 5 '12 at 2:52
    
I'd super-double-plus this answer...except it's not about ELU but about...something else entirely. What is 'friendship'? It's a fascinating question but not really about ELU topics. –  Mitch Jul 7 '12 at 2:38

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