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Cognitive Linguistics

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Volume 24, Issue 3 (Jul 2013)


Temporal frames of reference

Vyvyan Evans
Published Online: 2013-07-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cog-2013-0016


Based on linguistic and behavioural evidence, representations for time appear to be structured in terms of space (e.g., Casasanto and Boroditsky 2008; Lakoff and Johnson 1980, 1999). This finding has led to a recent move to apply the theoretical construct of frames of reference (FoRs) from the domain of space to time, leading to sophisticated taxonomies for temporal frames of reference (e.g., Bender et al. 2010; Tenbrink 2011; Zinken 2010). The present paper argues that while space is important for modelling temporal reference, this is not the whole story. I argue that the experience types that in part underlie temporal representations are inherently temporal, rather than spatial in nature. They consist of a range of experience types, the hallmark of FoRs in the domain of time being transience (Galton 2011), a construct worked out in some detail. The present paper proposes three distinct types of temporal frames of reference (t-FoRs), anchored to three distinct types of transience. These proposals are argued to complement and enhance existing proposals for t-FoRs, rather than replacing them.

Keywords: temporal reference; time; space; transience; frames of reference; temporal frames of reference (t-FoRs)

About the article

School of Linguistics, Mains Arts Building, Bangor University, Bangor, LL57 2DG, UK

Published Online: 2013-07-27

Published in Print: 2013-07-26

Citation Information: Cognitive Linguistics, ISSN (Online) 1613-3641, ISSN (Print) 0936-5907, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cog-2013-0016.

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©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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