Publication details [#5671]

Hayakawa, S.I. 1991. Language in Thought and Action: Fifth Edition. Harcourt. 196 pp. URL
Publication type
Book – monograph
Publication language


Although the basic concern of the book is with informal semantics (not the formal brand of semantics concerned with, e.g. the computation of truth-value), i.e. the symbolic way in which utterances are used to convey meaning, it also raises the more cognitive issue of how language affects human thought and conditions behaviour, and addresses the resulting ethical question of how language should be used to achieve cooperation and understanding rather than confrontation and conflict. These questions (though viewed in a somewhat optimistic perspective) give the book additional value as one of the pioneering works in critical linguistics, a discipline which was to develop only much later. Jean-Pierre van Noppen)