Chapter published in:The Pragmatics of Adaptability
Edited by N. Daniel Silva and Jacob L. Mey
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 319] 2021
► pp. 55–74
Adapting to changing concepts of time
From life to fiction
Time concepts have been developed throughout human history and different academic disciplines have theorized time. What is more, people’s time regimes have changed through adapting to the introduction of new techniques of production. After discussing changing conceptions of time in the life of human beings the article focuses on a science fiction account of a different view of time represented by aliens in the short story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang (2002). The story features interactions of a linguist (and physicists) with aliens. The paper looks at how the main protagonist slowly adapts to the mode of simultaneous time reflected in the alien’s grammar (which means the simultaneity of past, present and future) when learning their language and analyses how this is represented linguistically in the story.
Keywords: time concepts, (new) technology, space-time, time travel, science-fiction
Published online: 17 March 2021
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