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metacommunicationMetakommunikation (ger.)

  • Communication which underlies or takes place alongside a given act of communication, and serves to supplement or enhance it; an instance of this. Also: discourse about communication. (OED 2011)

    the term “metacommunication” is here introduced and defined as “communication about communication.”

    Ruesch, J. & Bateson, G. (1951). Communication: 209.


    metacommunication […:] The process of ritualization has played an important role in the development and elaboration of specific metacommunicative signals—those conveying messages of mood and intent.

    Bekoff, M. (1972). The development of social interaction, play, and metacommunication in mammals. An ethological perspective. Quart. Rev. Biol. 47, 412-434: 426-7.


    metacommunication A form of communication that conveys information about the interpretation of subsequent communications or signals.

    Lincoln, R.J., Boxshall, G.A. & Clark, P.F. (1982). A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics: 152.