Time-discretising adverbials

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This paper looks at the distribution of selected adverbials used to discretiseand quantify time in units of minutes, seconds and hours in reference languagecorpora of Polish and English. We carry out an exploratory analysis of the distributionalpatterns of such expressions and report three main findings. Firstly,we observe that the discretisation intervals for minutes and seconds divergefrom the overall frequency distribution of cardinal numerals in the two corpora.Secondly, a significant level of correlation has been found between frequencydistributions of n-seconds and n-minutes time adverbials in Polish and Englishdata. Finally, the distribution of salient intervals for n-hours adverbials differsconsiderably from the discretisation patterns observed for n-seconds andn-minutes expressions. We relate these findings to general cognitive aspectsof quantification and further link them to the iconic clock dial-based timeconceptualisation.


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