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Time, space, and events in language and cognition : a comparative view

Sinha, Chris LU and Gärdenfors, Peter LU (2014) In Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1326(Flow of time). p.72-81
Abstract
We propose an event-based account of the cognitive and linguistic representation of time and temporal relations. Human beings differ from nonhuman animals in entertaining and communicating elaborate detached (as opposed to cued) event representations and temporal relational schemas. We distinguish deictically based (D-time) from sequentially based (S-time) representations, identifying these with the philosophical categories of A-series and B-series time. On the basis of cross-linguistic data, we claim that all cultures employ both D-time and S-time representations. We outline a cognitive model of event structure, emphasizing that this does not entail an explicit, separate representation of a time dimension. We propose that the notion of an... (More)
We propose an event-based account of the cognitive and linguistic representation of time and temporal relations. Human beings differ from nonhuman animals in entertaining and communicating elaborate detached (as opposed to cued) event representations and temporal relational schemas. We distinguish deictically based (D-time) from sequentially based (S-time) representations, identifying these with the philosophical categories of A-series and B-series time. On the basis of cross-linguistic data, we claim that all cultures employ both D-time and S-time representations. We outline a cognitive model of event structure, emphasizing that this does not entail an explicit, separate representation of a time dimension. We propose that the notion of an event-independent, metric "time as such" is not universal, but a cultural and historical construction based on cognitive technologies for measuring time intervals. We critically examine claims that time is universally conceptualized in terms of spatial metaphors, and hypothesize that systematic space-time metaphor is only found in languages and cultures that have constructed the notion of time as a separate dimension. We emphasize the importance of distinguishing what is universal from what is variable in cultural and linguistic representations of time, and speculate on the general implications of an event-based understanding of time. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
time, space, event, language, cognition, culture
in
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
volume
1326
issue
Flow of time
pages
72 - 81
publisher
New York Academy of Sciences
external identifiers
  • PMID:25098724
  • WOS:000345152700007
  • Scopus:84908110078
ISSN
0077-8923
DOI
10.1111/nyas.12491
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
929d613f-11d2-4229-b96c-fb97b99fc1d3 (old id 4615516)
alternative location
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nyas.12491/pdf
date added to LUP
2014-09-11 09:13:43
date last changed
2017-01-01 03:54:49
@article{929d613f-11d2-4229-b96c-fb97b99fc1d3,
  abstract     = {We propose an event-based account of the cognitive and linguistic representation of time and temporal relations. Human beings differ from nonhuman animals in entertaining and communicating elaborate detached (as opposed to cued) event representations and temporal relational schemas. We distinguish deictically based (D-time) from sequentially based (S-time) representations, identifying these with the philosophical categories of A-series and B-series time. On the basis of cross-linguistic data, we claim that all cultures employ both D-time and S-time representations. We outline a cognitive model of event structure, emphasizing that this does not entail an explicit, separate representation of a time dimension. We propose that the notion of an event-independent, metric "time as such" is not universal, but a cultural and historical construction based on cognitive technologies for measuring time intervals. We critically examine claims that time is universally conceptualized in terms of spatial metaphors, and hypothesize that systematic space-time metaphor is only found in languages and cultures that have constructed the notion of time as a separate dimension. We emphasize the importance of distinguishing what is universal from what is variable in cultural and linguistic representations of time, and speculate on the general implications of an event-based understanding of time.},
  author       = {Sinha, Chris and Gärdenfors, Peter},
  issn         = {0077-8923},
  keyword      = {time,space,event,language,cognition,culture},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {Flow of time},
  pages        = {72--81},
  publisher    = {New York Academy of Sciences},
  series       = {Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences},
  title        = {Time, space, and events in language and cognition : a comparative view},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nyas.12491},
  volume       = {1326},
  year         = {2014},
}