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Spatial conceptual metaphor of time and time as a container in Old Croatian texts

Amir Kapetanović


This paper provides an analysis of spatial (and movement) conceptions of time in medieval Croatian texts. The analysis is founded on the assumptions of cognitive linguistics, specifically that of cognitive metaphor theory. After an introduction (1), the author writes on the influences, corpus, aims, goals, and limits of the research (2). In the following section (3), divided into five smaller sections, he discusses the main spatial metaphors for time, as well as the metaphor time is a container. An analysis of Old Croatian texts confirms the initial assumption that the varying spatial conceptions of time we find in numerous linguistic cultures of today also existed simultaneously in the mental world of medieval man. However, differences are noted in reflections of Ego-RP metaphors in comparisons between Old Croatian and modern Croatian texts. Within the context of a discussion on the conceptual metaphor time is a container, statements on “inephemeral time” (eternity) are also analysed, a topic that has not been discussed recently in theoretical cognitive linguistics. In the final section, the main conclusions of the analysis are drawn (4).


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This work came about in 2012 within the framework of a two-month scientific project carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, in cooperation with B. Comrie, supported by the European Science Foundation (ESF).

Published Online: 2014-10-17
Published in Print: 2014-11-1

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