The Gemara here quotes "I am not learned in Mikreh, Mishna, or Gemara." Elsewhere in SHaS the text itself also uses the word Gemara and/or SHas (Moed Katan 21a, Chagigah 10a, etc.)often in conjuction with the word Mishna, clearly refering to it's own branch of study. My question is, how can the Gemara refer to learning Gemara if it's in the time period of it? What is the Gemara really refering too? (Steinsoltz edition of the Gemara always uses the word Talmud in place of either SHaS or Gemara and all ancient non-Vilna editions I've checked either employ talmud or don't mention it). But both Artscroll and Sonciono translate them (as well as all mentions of Talmud) into their current usage- i.e. Gemara we learn. How could it be possible that that was the usage the Gemara itself meant when using the words?
Shira, NY, USA
In various places, Rashi defines "Gemara" as consisting of the in-depth study of Mishnayos. He usually divides this study into two parts: (1) Understanding the logic of the Mishnayos; (2) Answering the contradictions between Mishnayos (see Rashi Berachos 5a, 11a, Sotah 22a, 44a, Bava Metzia 33a, Rashbam Bava Basra 145b). In one place, Rashi adds that Gemara also includes (3) deciding which opinion in the Mishnah is the Halachic opinion (Sotah 44a).
As you pointed out, there are times where the Gemara refers to earlier generations studying Gemara. Rashi (Berachos 47b DH she'Lo, Sotah 28a DH Gemara) explains that the later Tana'im studied the works of the Tana'im that preceded them in a fashion similar to the way the Amora'im studied the works of the Tana'im. That is what the Gemara means when it refers to the Tana'im studying "Gemara."
Kollel Iyun Hadaf