Language or Model?
Language or Model?
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- Published: Tuesday, 29 December 2015 11:04
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Metametalanguage or Metametamodel?
Different Ways of Writing the Key Terms
Different writers write the key terms this website is concerned with, in different ways. At the higher levels in the pyramid showing how these key concepts relate to each other language and model can be used interchangeably. However, the further up the hierarchy, the term model becomes much less useful, and expressions really need to be linguistics. Hence the term language is more appropriate at the top levels.
In the examples that follow, capitalization has been used for the key words. There is nothing significant about that, and upper- or lower-case initial letters are used.by different writers.
Alternatives for the different levels (with or without initial capitalization) are:
Meta Meta Language
Meta Meta Meta Language
Similarly, there are several variants involving the word 'model' (also, with or without initial capitalization):
Meta Meta Model
Meta Meta Meta Model
The origin of the terms 'metamodel' and 'metametamodel' is not clear. Neither the Oxford English Dictionary (OED, 1991) nor Webster's International Dictionary (Gove, 1986) has an entry for either term. Therefore those terms must be considered recent. The OED does have meta-metalanguage, but Webster does not.
Wikipedia only has the associated term metamodel (which redirects to meta model) as a disambiguation page.
As metamodel has evolved from metalanguage, it is much easier to identify the origins. The OED's discussion of metalanguage includes the observation " Hence ˈmeta-ˈmetaˌlanguage, a language used in the description of another language which is itself a meta-language; the universal linguistic or symbolic system from which a particular metalanguage derives", and proceeds with references to philosophers who have used the term metametalanguage. The OED entry for meta-metalanguage redirects to metalanguage.
Geoffrey Darnton, 2011
Gove, P.B. (1986) Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Springfield MA: Merriam-Webster Inc.
OED (1991) The Compact Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.), Oxford: Clarendon Press.