Metalinguistic relativity and the personal pronoun paradigm

Roger Stephen BERRY

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review


This chapter looks at the personal pronoun paradigm, particularly as it is applied in pedagogic descriptions of English. It examines the numerous deficiencies of this model, and criticizes the way it obliges practitioners to ignore other factors and dimensions, in particular the extensive use of personal pronouns for generic reference. The concept of metalinguistic relativity, whereby descriptions are forced into a metalinguistic straightjacket inherited from the past, is applied to this situation. This chapter argues that if grammar teaching is to have any role in the language classroom, then more accurate and appropriate descriptions are needed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsycholinguistic and sociolinguistic perspectives on second language learning and teaching : studies in honour of Waldemar Marton
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783642235467
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2013


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