Mental Spaces: Aspects of Meaning Construction in Natural Language

Mental Spaces: Aspects of Meaning Construction in Natural Language


By (author) Gilles Fauconnier, Foreword by Eve Sweester, Foreword by George Lakoff

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  • Format: Paperback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 13mm | 272g
  • Publication date: 25 September 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521449499
  • ISBN 13: 9780521449496
  • Edition: 2
  • Edition statement: 2nd ed.
  • Illustrations note: 50 b/w illus. 2 tables
  • Sales rank: 955,049

Product description

Mental Spaces is the classic introduction to the study of mental spaces and conceptual projection, as revealed through the structure and use of language. It examines in detail the dynamic construction of connected domains as discourse unfolds. The discovery of mental space organization has modified our conception of language and thought: powerful and uniform accounts of superficially disparate phenomena have become available in the areas of reference, presupposition projection, counterfactual and analogical reasoning, metaphor and metonymy, and time and aspect in discourse. The present work lays the foundation for this research. It uncovers simple and general principles that lie behind the awesome complexity of everyday logic.

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Review quote

'In Fauconnier's, at long last, published book Mental Spaces, he describes a theory of human knowledge representation and linguistic processing that provides a simple and uniform account of a wide variety of problems that have long perplexed both linguists and philosophers of language ... Fauconnier's theory is particularly important in its identification of the role of cognitive factors, especially principles for organizing knowledge and procedural strategies for semantic interpretation, in what is often loosely termed the 'logic' of natural language ... The study of mental spaces as a cohesive and pervasive organizational device is a powerful new idea.' John Dinsmore, Cognitive Science

Back cover copy

This book is a major advance in the study of reference, descriptions, and coreference-topics that have long been at the center of research in linguistics and the philosophy of language.

Table of contents

1. Pragmatic functions and images; 2. Roles and multiple connectors; 3. Presuppositions: floating, transfer, and projection strategies; 4. Counterfactuals and comparatives; 5. Transspatial operators, philosophical issues, and future perspectives; Notes; References; Index.