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Event-based time intervals in an Amazonian culture

da Silva Sinha, Vera LU ; Sinha, Chris LU ; Wany, Sampaio and Joerg, Zinken (2012) In Space and Time in Languages and Cultures Language, Culture, and Cognition p.15-35
Abstract
We report an ethnographic and field-experiment-based study of time intervals in Amondawa, a Tupi language and culture of Amazonia. We analyse two Amondawa time interval systems based on natural environmental events (seasons and days), as well as the Amondawa system for categorising lifespan time (“age”). Amondawa time intervals are exclusively event-based, as opposed to time-based (i.e. they are based on event-duration, rather than measured abstract time units). Amondawa has no lexicalised abstract concept of time and no practices of time reckoning, as conventionally understood in the anthropological literature. Our findings indicate that not only are time interval systems and categories linguistically and culturally specific, but that... (More)
We report an ethnographic and field-experiment-based study of time intervals in Amondawa, a Tupi language and culture of Amazonia. We analyse two Amondawa time interval systems based on natural environmental events (seasons and days), as well as the Amondawa system for categorising lifespan time (“age”). Amondawa time intervals are exclusively event-based, as opposed to time-based (i.e. they are based on event-duration, rather than measured abstract time units). Amondawa has no lexicalised abstract concept of time and no practices of time reckoning, as conventionally understood in the anthropological literature. Our findings indicate that not only are time interval systems and categories linguistically and culturally specific, but that they do not depend upon a universal “concept of time”. We conclude that the abstract conceptual domain of time is not a human cognitive universal, but a cultural historical construction, semiotically mediated by symbolic and cultural-cognitive artefacts for time reckoning. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
semiotic mediation, artefacts, Amazonia, time reckoning, onomastics
in
Space and Time in Languages and Cultures Language, Culture, and Cognition
editor
Filipović, Luna; Jaszczolt, Kasia M.; and
pages
15 - 35
publisher
John Benjamins Publishing Company
ISBN
ISBN 978 90 272 2391 3
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e605c850-ff04-498f-8afe-9f3ccf0b3a4f (old id 3461325)
date added to LUP
2013-02-15 16:59:31
date last changed
2016-04-16 09:52:17
@inbook{e605c850-ff04-498f-8afe-9f3ccf0b3a4f,
  abstract     = {We report an ethnographic and field-experiment-based study of time intervals in Amondawa, a Tupi language and culture of Amazonia. We analyse two Amondawa time interval systems based on natural environmental events (seasons and days), as well as the Amondawa system for categorising lifespan time (“age”). Amondawa time intervals are exclusively event-based, as opposed to time-based (i.e. they are based on event-duration, rather than measured abstract time units). Amondawa has no lexicalised abstract concept of time and no practices of time reckoning, as conventionally understood in the anthropological literature. Our findings indicate that not only are time interval systems and categories linguistically and culturally specific, but that they do not depend upon a universal “concept of time”. We conclude that the abstract conceptual domain of time is not a human cognitive universal, but a cultural historical construction, semiotically mediated by symbolic and cultural-cognitive artefacts for time reckoning.},
  author       = {da Silva Sinha, Vera and Sinha, Chris and Wany, Sampaio and Joerg, Zinken},
  editor       = {Filipović, Luna and Jaszczolt, Kasia M.},
  isbn         = {ISBN 978 90 272 2391 3},
  keyword      = {semiotic mediation,artefacts,Amazonia,time reckoning,onomastics},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {15--35},
  publisher    = {John Benjamins Publishing Company},
  series       = {Space and Time in Languages and Cultures Language, Culture, and Cognition},
  title        = {Event-based time intervals in an Amazonian culture},
  year         = {2012},
}