Theoretical Essay

Speakers doing Linguistics: how epilinguistic and metalinguistic activities concern Science

Luana De Conto

Universidade Federal do Paraná image/svg+xml

Luciana Sanchez-Mendes

Universidade Federal Fluminense image/svg+xml

Pietra Cassol Rigatti

Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina image/svg+xml


Epilinguistic activities
Metalinguistic activities
Open Science


In this essay, we consider the linguistic knowledge of the speaker in what it outgrows their linguistic competence and we focus specifically in situations in which speakers without specialized training ponder about their language use. Taking into account Franchi (2006) and Geraldi (2013) typology, we argue that it is possible to find in the web many examples of two different situations which concern the linguistic knowledge of the speaker: (i) epilinguistic activities, where the speaker deploys linguistic knowledge for a particular manipulation of linguistic expressions, and (ii) metalinguistic activities, where a nonspecialist speaker manage to sketch generalist analyses about linguistic issues, even when they do not use technical terms. These situations can be found all over the internet and they can reach some engagement impact through viral texts, like memes, tweets and comics. We exemplify that in this paper with some twitter posts and we argue that this grammatical knowledge must be prized, be it in language classes or in academia. We illustrate the relevance of this kind of texts to scientific communication, presenting a social media post created by one of the authors. We also discuss the possibility of including these texts in language classes, especially regarding the “discovery” method from Lobato (2015)’s proposal. Moreover, we also remind that nonspecialists’ manipulation of linguistic properties might also be welcomed in open science perspectives that are concerned with a communitarian approach, making the scientific work more participative for citizens all over.

How to Cite

DE CONTO, L.; SANCHEZ-MENDES, L.; RIGATTI, P. C. Speakers doing Linguistics: how epilinguistic and metalinguistic activities concern Science. Cadernos de Linguística, [S. l.], v. 3, n. 2, p. e653, 2022. DOI: 10.25189/2675-4916.2022.v3.n2.id653. Disponível em: Acesso em: 4 oct. 2023.



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