Synopses & Reviews
The work of Gustave Guillaume (1883-1960) has had an important influence on French linguistics. But his theory of psychomechanics, which views language as systematic and semiotic, is not well known in the English-speaking world. Language in the Mind is the first detailed study of Guillaumian linguistics in English. Guillaume sees the word as the link between language as potential and as actual discourse. Meaning is both the representation of the speaker's momentary experience and the determining factor in the the word's use in discourse. Walter Hirtle illustrates Guillaume's general principles with examples drawn from contemporary English grammar and uses comparisons with other approaches, especially cognitive linguistics, to situate Guillaumes distinctive view of language as essentially a mental phenomenon.Hirtle is the former director of the Fonds Gustave Guillaume, an archive of 60,000 manuscript pages of the theorist's work, which is housed at Laval University, the principal centre for the study of psychomechanics.
About the Author
Walter Hirtle is professeur associé, Laval University, and the author of several books, including Number and Inner Space.