This paper proposes an account of linguistic knowledge in terms of knowing-how, starting from Love's seminal distinction between first-order linguistic activity and second-order (or metalinguistic) practices. Metalinguistic practices are argued to be constitutive of linguistic knowledge. Skilful linguistic behaviour is subject to correction based on criterial support provided through metalinguistic practices. Linguistic know-how is knowing-how to provide and to recognise criterial support for first-order linguistic activity. I conclude that participation in first-order linguistic activity requires a critical reflective attitude, which implies that all first-order linguistic activity has a second-order dimension.

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Language Sciences
Erasmus School of Philosophy

van den Herik, J. (2017). Linguistic know-how and the orders of language. Language Sciences, 2016, 1–11. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2016.09.009