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When time is not space

Subtitle (English):The social and linguistic construction of time intervals and temporal event relations in an Amazonian culture
  • It is widely assumed that there is a natural, prelinguistic conceptual domain of time whose linguistic organization is universally structured via metaphoric mapping from the lexicon and grammar of space and motion. We challenge this assumption on the basis of our research on the Amondawa (Tupi Kawahib)language and culture of Amazonia. Using both observational data and structured field linguistic tasks, we show that linguistic space-time mapping at theconstructional level is not a feature of the Amondawa language, and is not employed by Amondawa speakers (when speaking Amondawa). Amondawa does not recruit its extensive inventory of terms and constructions for spatial motion and location to express temporal relations. Amondawa also lacks a numerically based calendric system. To account for these data, and in opposition to a Universal Space-Time Mapping Hypothesis, we propose a Mediated Mapping Hypothesis, which accords causal importance to the numerical and artefact-based construction of time-based (as opposed to event-based) time interval systems.

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Author:Chris Sinha, Vera Da Silva Sinha, Jörg ZinkenORCiDGND, Wany Sampaio
DOI:https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/langcog.2011.006 (About DOI)
Parent Title (English):Language and Cognition
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2011
Date of Publication (online):2014/12/15
Amazonian languages; Cognitive artefacts; Conceptual metaphor; Space; Time
GND Keyword:Amazonas; Metapher; Raum; Temporalität; Tupi-Guarani-Sprachen; Zeit; kognitive Semantik
First Page:137
Last Page:169
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:ja
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Linguistics-Classification:Psycholinguistik / Kognitive Linguistik
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt