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METANALYSIS. A technical term for a change in the way the elements in a WORD, PHRASE or SENTENCE are interpreted and used, such as: Middle English a naddre reinterpreted as an addre (Modern an adder); Perso-Arabic nāranj becoming Old Provençal auranja then French and English orange, the /n/ being attracted to the article in both languages (but retained in Spanish unanaranja).