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Linguistic Meta Models - Impact of Language on behavior & thinking

Extract from a research paper published by the authors

The paradox of human existence

The most thought provoking paradox of human existence is that the processes which allow us to grow, change and experience joy are the same processes which allow us to maintain an incomplete and impoverished model of the world. Limited interpretation and usage of symbols that constitute language can lead us to sub optimal growth eventually leading to inability to accomplish extraordinary results.

What is a meta model?

Communication framework for language - A Meta Model is collation or construction of a collection of "concepts" (things, terms, frameworks etc.) within a certain domain and is directed towards a common set of tasks and goals. It can also be defined as another layer of abstraction, highlighting properties of the model itself.

A Meta Model of NLP also known as meta-model of language is a pragmatic used to specify information in a speaker’s language. The Meta-Model was first described by John Grinder and Richard Bandler in their book Structure of Magic vol. 1 [1]. It was developed as a means of identifying and responding to the problematic patterns in the speech of people. It consists of a series of categories identifying various areas of communication that are susceptible to considerable ambiguity and which may create limitations, confusion or miscommunication. Effective communication -possible areas for meta models to evolve

There are many possible techniques where meta models can be considered to make communication more effective - some of these are -

Pacing & Leading ; Linguistic Relativity (cultural and cognitive encoding); Map is not the territory (relationship between and object and the representation of an object; Communication filters (generalization, deletion and distortion); Isolation of distortions in linguistic patterns in written and spoken communication; Interconnect between language - communication - information flow etc.

Some scenarios to consider

Some of the possible scenarios to consider to apply overall thinking of a meta model are - extent of impact of language on thought and behavior; what parts of language affect thoughts and identify such patterns, strategies to overcome negative influences of language through linguistic transformations, impact of language on how the human interaction can be less paradoxical etc.

Handling, Manipulating and Managing Meta Model data

A suggested framework for Linguistic meta models would include four sets of parameters - Notation/Grammar (Text, Graphics, Symbols & Pronunciation); Semantics (Transformations, Operational Transformations and Interpretations); Constraints / Method (Usage rules, Change rules, Query rules); Others (Lexicology, Syntax, Pragmatics,Proxemics and Etymology)

A good analogy to understand the above framework is to think how we engage a computer on various types of activities and how it understands our language patterns and replies to us - when we use meta models with people, we need to factor in the emotional aspect as well as human beings are a combination of logic and emotions.

Usage and applications of meta models

Meta models can be used for several tasks such as Psychometric testing, Language training, Pedagogy development, Learner profiling, Question bank development, Coaching, Mentoring, Knowledge management etc.

Linguistic Meta model patterns

More specifically, linguistic meta model patterns can be leveraged as specific tool-sets e.g. for NLP based coaching, we can use techniques such as Presuppositions, Modal operators, Normalization etc. We can also use the patterns to connect to other techniques such as Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, and use it to develop tools such as assessments, benchmarking etc.

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