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When time is not space. 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 the constructional 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 de Silva Sinha, Jörg ZinkenGND, Wany Sampaio
Parent Title (English):Conceptualizations of time
Series (Serial Number):Human Cognitive Processing (52)
Place of publication:Amsterdam
Editor:Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of first Publication:2016
Date of Publication (online):2016/11/07
GND Keyword:Amazonas; Kognitive Linguistik; Kulturpsychologie; Temporalität; Tupi-Guarani-Sprachen; Zeit
First Page:151
Last Page:186
Dieser Beitrag ist aus urheberrechtlichen Gründen nicht frei zugänglich.
Due to copyright reasons the full-text of the article is not freely accessible.
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:Nein
Licence (German):Es gilt das UrhG