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
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