Western Conception of Time in Signed Languages: a Cognitive Linguistic Perspective

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The chapter builds on previous research into the concept of time in signedlanguages (Brennan 1983; Wilcox 2000; Taub 2001; Sutton-Spence and Woll2010). Relying on the framework of the second generation cognitive linguistics(Lakoff and Johnson 1999), it discusses the key elements of the Western viewof time as expressed in American, British, Polish, and other signed languages.Signs based on metaphors, metonymies, and interactions of these two conceptualmechanisms represent the conception of time rooted in classical physics(Newton 1729), the paradigm of life sciences (McGrath and Kelly 1986), andthe efficiency-oriented concept of work (Lakoff and Johnson 1980). They reflecttime’s linearity and cyclicity, its division into homogenous units, and its use asan economic resource.


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