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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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New from Oxford University Press!


What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.

New from Cambridge University Press!


Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.

Book Information


Title: The Structure of Time
Subtitle: Language, meaning and temporal cognition
Written By: Vyvyan Evans
URL: http://www.benjamins.com/cgi-bin/t_bookview.cgi?bookid=HCP%2012
Series Title: Human Cognitive Processing 12


One of the most enigmatic aspects of experience concerns time. Since
pre-Socratic times scholars have speculated about the nature of time,
asking questions such as: What is time? Where does it come from? Where does
it go? The central proposal of The Structure of Time is that time, at base,
constitutes a phenomenologically real experience. Drawing on findings in
psychology, neuroscience, and utilising the perspective of cognitive
linguistics, this work argues that our experience of time may ultimately
derive from perceptual processes, which in turn enable us to perceive
events. As such, temporal experience is a pre-requisite for abilities such
as event perception and comparison, rather than an abstraction based on
such phenomena. The book represents an examination of the nature of
temporal cognition, with two foci: (i) an investigation into
(pre-conceptual) temporal experience, and (ii) an analysis of temporal
structure at the conceptual level (which derives from temporal experience).

Table of contents

Acknowledgements ix

I. Orientation
1. The problem of time 3–11
2. The phenomenology of time 13–32
3. The elaboration of temporal concepts 33–37
4. The nature of meaning 39–56
5. The conceptual metaphor approach to time 57–77
6. A theory of word-meaning: Principled polysemy 79–104

II. Concepts for time
7. The Duration Sense 107–121
8. The Moment Sense 123–130
9. The Instance Sense 131–134
10. The Event Sense 135–140
11. The Matrix Sense 141–157
12. The Agentive Sense 159–167
13. The Measurement-system Sense 169–176
14. The Commodity Sense 177–183
15. The Present, Past and Future 185–198

III. Models for time
16. Time, motion and agency 201–210
17. Two complex cognitive models of temporality 211–226
18. A third complex model of temporality 227–236
19. Time in modern physics 237–249
20. The structure of time 251–254

Notes 255
References 269
Index 277

"Time belongs to the bedrock of human cognition. Beginning before birth and
remaining for the most part below the horizon of consciousness, temporal
cognition is a mystery not easily penetrated. The Structure of Time is an
indispensable investigation, rich in theory and examples, into the
phenomenology and the linguistics of the way we think about time."
Mark Turner, Institute Professor, Case Western Reserve University

"With this work, Cognitive Linguistics finally turns its attention from
Space to Time."
Jordan Zlatev, Lund University, Sweden

"This work is interesting, creative, thought-provoking, and timely (no pun
Wallace Chafe, University of California at Santa Barbara

"[...] thought provoking and inspiring. It is a valuable interdisciplinary
source for insight in several domains, including lexical semantics,
conceptual metaphor theory, and cognitive science in the area of time."
Thora Tenbrink, University of Bremen, Germany, on Linguist List 15-2430 (2004)

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
Cognitive Science
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027223645
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: x, 286
Prices: Europe EURO 95.00
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 158811466X
ISBN-13: 9781588114662
Pages: x, 286
Prices: U.S. $ 128
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 902722367X
ISBN-13: 9789027223678
Pages: x, 286
Prices: U.S. $ 48.95
Europe EURO 36.00