Language in its Communicative Action Form

Mediation of Synchronic and Diachronic Aspects of Language
  • Keiko Morita


Habermas argued that reason conceived epistemologically was no longer adequate for the task of illuminating the problem of modernity. Reason, conceived from the perspective of communicative interaction, would emerge as having the potential to redeem modernity from its dilemmas only after a pre-requisite social-linguistic turn had occurred. The focus of discussion in this paper is to connect the synchronic and diachronic modalities of language with Habermas’s argument that language in its communicative action form is simultaneously quasi-transcendental and quasi-empirical in terms of the fundamental rules presupposed in linguistic and communicative competencies, and to demonstrate his view that communicative action is the originary mode of language use. The paper also presents an analysis of the Japanese language-in-use, which employ a subtle mediating level, the honne, by which the synchronic modality is continually problematised, interpreted and re-interpreted by both speakers and hearers.


Communicative Action Language Game Linguistic Competence Originary Mode Synchronic Modality 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keiko Morita
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for International StudiesUniversity of TechnologySydneyAustralia

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