First published in 1985 (MIT Press), Fauconnier's influential book, Mental Spaces, was instrumental in shaping the new field of cognitive linguistics. The concept of mental spaces--that we develop constructs during discourse that are distinct from linguistic constructs but are established by linguistic expressions--provides a powerful new approach to problems in philosophy and cognitive science concerning thought and language. It includes a new preface that provides context for the theory, and a new foreword by George Lakoff and Eve Sweetser (both of U.C. Berkeley).
'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