Space and time in medium-mediated expressions of distance

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This study investigates an overall proportion between spatial and temporal expressions of distance for the semantic attribute of motion medium, i.e. the environment in which motion occurs, on the basis of frequencies of language patterns found in the British National Corpus. The results indicate that in this semantic context English speakers tend to render distance in space both in spatial and temporal terms, with temporal representations being used almost as frequently. This observation complements earlier findings on spatial and temporal expressions of distance for the semantic attributes of motion manner and instrument. Taken together, the results indicate that in the semantic context of motion events, space and time, are correlated metonymically rather than being asymmetrically dependent.


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