Definition - A structural linguistics' term denoting the branch of linguistics that deals with language as a whole.

1. As opposed to microlinguistics, which directly analyses linguistic phenomena, such as phonology, grammar, and lexicology.

Etymology -
The term, which was coined by by the American linguist George L Trager, derives from the Greek makros, large + linguistics.

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1949:
"The whole of the field concerned with language … we shall call Macrolinguistics. The three subdivisions we shall call Prelinguistics, Microlinguistics, Metalinguistics."
(G. L. Trager in Studies in Ling.: Occasional Papers i. 2 )

Quotation -
"[Using] a terminology which was widely accepted in American structural linguistics of the 1950s, Trager divided up the field of linguistics thus: Macrolinguistics is the most inclusive term, covering the whole field. Prelinguistics studies the material aspects of speech; that is, PHONETICS. Microlinguistics is ‘linguistics proper’ in the American tradition: strict attention to linguistic form – PHONOLOGY, MORPHOLOGY, SYNTAX – without regard to extralinguistic and metalinguistic features. Metalinguistics studies the relationship of language to setting and cultural context…."

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