7. Language-specific perspectives in reference to time in the discourse of Czech, English, and Hungarian speakers

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This chapter investigates patterns exhibited in the way native speakers of Czech, English, and Hungarian organise temporal information for the expression of events in context. Cross-linguistic contrasts have been identified with respect to four discourse dimensions: levels of granularity, degrees of condensation, preferred topic time management techniques, as well as selected event perspectivation frames. Through the analyses of film retellings and written picture descriptions, comparable language-specific patterns surfaced across modalities and task types. Observed systematic differences in event construal support the idea of language-specificity in the processes of time perspectivation. It is claimed that perspectivation contrasts stem from differences in the linguistic means that are available for encoding temporality in particular languages, and emerge as a result of minimising ambiguity.


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