7. Koromu temporal expressions

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This chapter examines different types of time expressed in Koromu (Kesawai), a Papuan language, to show the interaction of time expressions with cultural and environmental contexts and to investigate semantic description. Meanings are explicated in a metalanguage based on semantic primitives (cf. Wierzbicka 1996; Goddard 2008; Gladkova, this volume). The discovery of natural semantic metalanguage (NSM) temporal primes and investigation of semantic molecules, non-primitive meanings that occur within the meaning of other concepts, promotes comparative and contrastive semantic description. The finding of culture-specific concepts referring to ‘time-’ and ‘event-based’ time intervals (cf. da Silva Sinha et al., this volume), linear and cyclical time (cf. Charlier, this volume), suggests that a range of expressions need consideration when cultural perspectives are assessed.


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