The Spatial Language of Time
Metaphor, metonymy, and frames of reference
The Spatial Language of Time presents a crosslinguistically valid state-of-the-art analysis of space-to-time metaphors, using data mostly from English and Wolof (Africa) but additionally from Japanese and other languages. Metaphors are analyzed in terms of their most direct motivation by basic human experiences (Grady 1997a; Lakoff & Johnson 1980). This motivation explains the crosslinguistic appearance of certain metaphors, but does not say anything about temporal metaphor systems that deviate from the types documented here. Indeed, we observe interesting culture- and language-specific metaphor phenomena. Refining earlier treatments of temporal metaphor and adapting to temporal experience Levinson’s (2003) idea of frames of reference, the author proposes a contrast between perspective-neutral and perspective-specific frames of reference in temporal metaphor that has important crosslinguistic ramifications for the temporal semantics of FRONT/BEHIND expressions. This book refines the cognitive-linguistic approach to temporal metaphor by analyzing the extensive temporal structure in what has been considered the source domain of space, and showing how temporal metaphors can be better understood by downplaying the space-time dichotomy and analyzing metaphor structure in terms of conceptual frames. This book is of interest to linguists, psychologists, anthropologists, philosophers, and others who may have wondered about relationships between space and time.
[Human Cognitive Processing, 42] 2014. xxv, 340 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins
Table of Contents
List of diagrams
List of tables
Abbreviations and special symbols
Part I. Temporal metaphor and ego’s perspective
Introduction: Talking about time as if it were space
The deictic nature of Moving Ego and Ego-centered Moving Time expressions
The experiential bases (grounding, motivation) of Moving Ego and Ego-centered Moving Time
From earlier to later
Frame of reference and alternate construals of ego-centered time
Part II. Perspectival neutrality
A field-based frame of reference
The psychological reality of sequence is relative position on a path
Illustrating the field-based/ego-perspective contrast: The case of sequence is relative position in a stack
Part III. The temporal semantics of in-front and behind
The contrasting front/behind schemas of sequence is relative position on a path and Moving Ego
The crosslinguistic pairing of in-front and behind with ‘earlier’ and ‘later’
The alignment of ego with a field-based frame of reference
When back is not the opposite of front: A temporal relative frame of reference in Wolof
The Ego-opposed temporal metaphor and contexts of shared perspective
Modes of construal of front and behind
In search of primary metaphors of time
Part IV. Location without translational motion
Expressions of static temporal “location”
Beyond metaphor and metonymy: Mental spaces and conceptual integration
Other-centered Moving Time and Wolof fekk ‘become co-located with’
Times as bounded regions
Part V. Fundamentally different temporal concepts
Having and wasting Wolof counterparts of time
“Time is not a mystery when you examine how people talk about events—remembered, ongoing, anticipated. Kevin Moore has done just that, in a detailed and insightful exploration of temporal expressions in several unrelated languages. His in-depth description of Wolof is worth a book in itself. With the addition of English, Japanese, and Aymara the result is a valuable contribution to comparative cognitive linguistics. And above all, Moore has contributed an exhaustive and carefully considered reanalysis of the conceptual domains of time and space, showing that conceptions of space also have temporal characteristics. Moore’s fresh approach goes beyond space-based metaphors to include metonymy and blending, and to solve old puzzles by distinguishing between motion and location in space, and between ego-centered and field-based fields of reference. The Spatial Language of Time is a landmark in a series devoted to cognitive foundations of language structure and use.”
Dan I. Slobin, University of California, Berkeley
“In everyday life, we take for granted the metaphors we live by, and have no awareness of the extraordinary thought processes that lie behind them. Kevin Moore's admirable book explores the many dimensions involved for "time as space," with unprecedented rigor and scholarship.
Moore's compelling analysis of surprisingly deep conceptual mappings is a major contribution to cognitive science and linguistics.”
Moore's compelling analysis of surprisingly deep conceptual mappings is a major contribution to cognitive science and linguistics.”
Gilles Fauconnier, UCSD
“Spatial metaphors for time have become a major theme in cognitive science and linguistics. Kevin Moore's thoughtful book, The Spatial Language of Time, not only adds to the crosslinguistic comparative range of our understanding of spatiotemporal metaphor - it also raises the level of detail in linguistic analysis of the mappings between the two domains. It is a valuable contribution to linguistics, but also to the general study of cognition and of culture.”
Eve Sweetser, University of California, Berkeley
“The book has a cohesive objective about metaphor that is established in Chapter 1 and restated again in the conclusion, namely to “explore the details of certain spatial construals of time as thoroughly as possible for a few languages, in order to gain an understanding of some of the principles involved in applying spatial concepts to time.” Each of the book’s 22 chapters helps develop and further this objective through a detailed description of metaphor in both English and Wolof. Moore weaves connections between the two languages with finesse, letting the reader clearly see the commonalities and providing explanations for areas of difference. This book is an excellent resource for researchers interested in conceptual metaphors of time, providing a unique, cross-linguistic perspective to the ongoing conversation.”
Kathryn Bailey Farmer, University of North Texas, on Linguist List 26.1329 (09/03/2015)
“Moore provides a comprehensive account of the metaphorical understanding of time through space, with a new focus on Wolof, his language of specialization. His work represents a valuable contribution to the literature on human cognition in general, and on how people in Anglo-American and Senegalese cultures use the Spatial Language of Time.”
José Antonio Jódar-Sánchez, San José State University, in Metaphor and the Social World Vol. 5:1 (2015)
Cited by other publications
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