Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Cognitive Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Divjak, Dagmar


IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 1.902
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 2.297

CiteScore 2018: 2.09

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 1.075
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 2.063

Online
ISSN
1613-3641
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 29, Issue 4

Issues

Time will tell: Temporal landmarks influence metaphorical associations between space and time

Heng Li / Yu Cao
Published Online: 2018-10-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cog-2017-0043

Abstract

According to the Temporal Focus Hypothesis (TFH), people’s implicit spatial conceptions are shaped by their temporal focus. Whereas previous studies have demonstrated that people’s cultural or individual differences related to certain temporal focus may influence their spatializations of time, we focus on temporal landmarks as potential additional influences on people’s space-time mappings. In Experiment 1, we investigated how personally-related events influence students’ conceptions of time. The results showed that student examinees were more likely to think about time according to the past-in-front mapping, and student registrants, future-in-front mapping. Experiment 2 explored the influence of calendar markers and found that participants tested on the Chinese Spring Festival, a symbol of a fresh start, tended to conceptualize the future as in front of them, while those tested on the Tomb Sweeping Day, an opportunity to remember the ancestors, showed the reversed pattern. In Experiment 3, two scenarios representing past or future landmarks correspondingly were presented to participants. We found that past-focused/future -focused scenarios caused an increase in the rate of past-in-front/future-in-front responses respectively. Taken together, the results from these three studies suggest that people’s conceptions of time may vary according to temporal landmarks, which can be explained by the TFH.

Keywords: temporal focus hypothesis; temporal landmark; Mandarin speakers; conceptual metaphor; space-time mappings; representational flexibility

References

  • Alverson, Hoyt. 1994. Semantics and experience: Universal metaphors of time in English, Mandarin, Hindi, and Sesotho. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar

  • Barsalou, Lawrence. 1999. Perceptual symbol systems. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22(4). 577–560.Google Scholar

  • Barsalou, Lawrence. 2016. On staying grounded and avoiding quixotic dead ends. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 23(4). 1122–1142.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bender, Andrea & Sieghard Beller. 2014. Mapping spatial frames of reference onto time: A review of theoretical accounts and empirical findings. Cognition 132(3). 342–382.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bergen, Benjamin. 2015. Embodiment. In Ewa Dabrowska & Dagmar Divjak (eds.), Handbook of cognitive linguistics, 10–30. Berlin & Boston: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Bodde, Derk. 1979. Festivals in classical China. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

  • Boroditsky, Lera. 2000. Metaphoric structuring: Understanding time through spatial metaphors. Cognition 75(1). 1–28.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Boroditsky, Lera. 2001. Does language shape thought? English and Mandarin speakers’ conceptions of time. Cognitive Psychology 43(1). 1–22.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Boroditsky, Lera & Michael Ramscar. 2002. The roles of body and mind in abstract thought. Psychological Science 13(2). 185–189.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Casasanto, Daniel. 2016. Temporal language and temporal thinking may not go hand in hand. In Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk (ed.), Conceptualizations of time, 169–186. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Casasanto, Daniel. 2017. The hierarchical structure of mental metaphors. In Beate Hampe (ed.), Metaphor: Embodied cognition and discourse, 46–61. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Casasanto, Daniel & Roberto Bottini. 2014. Mirror-reading can reverse the flow of time. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 143(2). 473–479.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Casasanto, Daniel & Kyle Jasmin. 2012. The hands of time: Temporal gestures in English speakers. Cognitive Linguistics 23(4). 643–674.Google Scholar

  • Chen, Jenn-Yeu. 2007. Do Chinese and English speakers think about time differently? Failure of replicating Boroditsky (2001). Cognition 104(2). 427–436.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Clark, Herbert H. 1973. Space, time, semantics, and the child. In Timothy Moore (ed.), Cognitive development and the acquisition of language, 27–63. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar

  • Cooperrider, Kensy & Rafael Núñez. 2009. Across time, across the body: Transversal temporal gestures. Gesture 9(2). 181–206.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Dai, Hengchen, Katherine Milkman & Jason Riis. 2014. The fresh start effect: Temporal landmarks motivate aspirational behavior. Management Science 60(10). 2563–2582.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Dai, Hengchen, Katherine Milkman & Jason Riis. 2015. Put your imperfections behind you: Temporal landmarks spur goal initiation when they signal new beginnings. Psychological Science 26(12). 1927–1936.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • de La Fuente, Juanma, Julio Santiago, Antonio Román, Cristina Dumitrache & Daniel Casasanto. 2014. When you think about it, your past is in front of you: How culture shapes spatial conceptions of time. Psychological Science 25(9). 1682–1690.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Duffy, Sarah & Michele Feist. 2014. Individual differences in the interpretation of ambiguous statements about time. Cognitive Linguistics 25(1). 29–54.Google Scholar

  • Emmorey, Karen. 2001. Space on hand: The exploitation of signing space to illustrate abstract thought. In Merideth Gattis (ed.), Spatial schemas and abstract thought, 147–174. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Evans, Vyvyan. 2004. The structure of time: Language, meaning, and temporal cognition. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Fuhrman, Orly, Kelly McCormick, Eva Chen, Heidi Jiang, Dingfang Shu, Shuaimei Mao & Lera Boroditsky. 2011. How linguistic and cultural forces shape conceptions of time: English and Mandarin time in 3D. Cognitive Science 35(7). 1305–1328.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Gibbs, Raymond. 2006. Embodiment and cognitive science. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Gijssels, Tom & Daniel Casasanto. 2017. Conceptualizing time in terms of space: Experimental evidence. In Barbara Dancygier (ed.), Cambridge handbook of cognitive linguistics, 651–668. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Gu, Yan, Y, Q. Zheng & M. Swerts. 2016. Which is in front of Chinese people: Past or future? A study on Chinese people's space-time mapping. In Anna Papafragou, Dan Grodner, Dan Mirman & John Trueswell (eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science, 2603–2608. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.Google Scholar

  • Halperin, Marcia & Doris Abrams. 1978. Sex differences in predicting final examination grades: The influence of past performance, attributions, and achievement motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology 70(5). 763–711.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Haspelmath, Martin. 1997. From space to time: Temporal adverbials in the worlds languages. Munich: Lincom.Google Scholar

  • Hendricks, Rose & Lera Boroditsky. 2017. New space-time metaphors foster new nonlinguistic representations. Topics in Cognitive Science 9(3). 800–818.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Henrich, Joseph, Steven Heine & Ara Norenzayan. 2010. Most people are not WEIRD. Nature 466(7302). 29–29.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Huumo, Tuomas. 2017. The grammar of temporal motion: A cognitive grammar account of motion metaphors of time. Cognitive Linguistics 28(1). 1–43.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • January, David & Kako Edward. 2007. Re-evaluating evidence for linguistic relativity: Reply to Boroditsky (2001). Cognition 104(2). 417–426.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Klein, Harriet. 1987. Time in Toba. Word 38(3). 173–185.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kövecses, Zoltán. 2015. Where metaphors come from: Reconsidering context in metaphor. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Kranjec, Alexander & Laraine McDonough. 2011. The implicit and explicit embodiment of time. Journal of Pragmatics 43(3). 735–748.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lakoff, George. 1990. The invariance hypothesis: Is abstract reason based on image schemas? Cognitive Linguistics 1(1). 39–74.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lakoff, George. 1993. The contemporary theory of metaphor. In Andrew Ortony (ed.), Metaphor and thought, 202–251. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Lakoff, George & Mark Johnson. 1980. Metaphors we live by. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

  • Lakoff, George & Mark Johnson. 1999. Philosophy in the flesh: The embodied mind and its challenge to western thought. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar

  • Lewis, Tasha & Elise Stickles. 2017. Gestural modality and addressee perspective influence how we reason about time. Cognitive Linguistics 28(1). 45–76.Google Scholar

  • Li, Heng. 2017. Time on hands: Deliberate and spontaneous temporal gestures by speakers of Mandarin. Gesture 16(3). 396–415.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Li, Heng & Yu Cao. 2017. Personal attitudes toward time: The relationship between temporal focus, space-time mappings and real life experiences. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 58(3). 193–198.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Li, Heng & Yu Cao. 2018. The hope of the future: The experience of pregnancy influences women’s implicit space-time mappings. The Journal of Social Psychology 158(2). 152–156.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Li, Heng, Bui Van Quynh & Yu Cao. 2018. One country, two cultures: Implicit space-time mappings in Southern and Northern Vietnamese. European Journal of Social Psychology https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/ejsp.2356 (last accessed 9 September 2018).

  • Malotki, Ekkehart. 1983. Hopi time: A linguistic analysis of temporal concepts in the Hopi language. Mouton: Berlin.Google Scholar

  • Margolies, Skye & Elizabeth Crawford. 2008. Event valance and spatial metaphors of time. Cognition and Emotion 22(7). 1401–1414.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Marlatt, Alan & Burt Kaplan. 1972. Self-initiated attempts to change behavior: A study of New Year’s resolutions. Psychological Reports 30(1). 123–131.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Matlock, Teenie, Michael Ramscar & Lera Boroditsky. 2005. On the experiential link between spatial and temporal language. Cognitive Science 29(4). 655–664.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Moore, Kevin. 2006. Space to time mappings and temporal concepts. Cognitive Linguistics 17(2). 199–244.Google Scholar

  • Norcross, John, Marci Mrykalo & Matthew Blagys. 2002. Auld lang syne: Success predictors, change processes, and selfreported outcomes of New Year’s resolvers and nonresolvers. Journal of Clinical Psychology 58(4). 397–405.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Núñez, Rafael & Kensy Cooperrider. 2013. The tangle of space and time in human cognition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 17(5). 220–229.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Núñez, Rafael & Eve Sweetser. 2006. With the future behind them: Convergent evidence from Aymara language and gesture in the crosslinguistic comparison of spatial construals of time. Cognitive Science 30(3). 401–450.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Özçalışkan, Şeyda. 2003. Metaphorical motion in crosslinguistic perspective: A comparison of English and Turkish. Metaphor and Symbol 18(3). 189–228.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Robinson, John. 1986. Temporal reference systems and autobiographical memory. In David Rubin (ed.), Autobiographical memory, 159–188. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Santiago, Julio, Antonio Román & Mark Ouellet. 2011. Flexible foundations of abstract thought: A review and a theory. In Thomas Schubert & Anne Maass (eds.), Spatial dimensions of social thought, 41–110. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Shipp, Abbie J., Jeffrey R Edwards & Lisa Schurer Lambert. 2009. Conceptualization and measurement of temporal focus: The subjective experience of the past, present, and future. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 110(1). 1–22.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Shum, Michael. 1998. The role of temporal landmarks in autobiographical memory processes. Psychological Bulletin 124(3). 423–442.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Slobin, Dan I. 1996. From ‘thought and language’ to ‘thinking for speaking’. In John Gumperz & Stephen Levinson (eds.), Rethinking linguistic relativity, 70–96. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Soster, Robin, Ashwani Monga & William Bearden. 2010. Tracking costs of time and money: How accounting periods affect mental accounting. Journal of Consumer Research 37(4). 712–721.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Sullivan, Karen & Linh Thuy Bui. 2016. With the future coming up behind them: Evidence that time approaches from behind in Vietnamese. Cognitive Linguistics 27(2). 205–233.Google Scholar

  • Waliński, Jacek Tadeusz. 2016. Reflection of temporal horizon in linguistic. In Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk (ed.), Conceptualizations of time, 273–294. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Walker, Esther & Kensy Cooperrider. 2016. The continuity of metaphor: Evidence from temporal gestures. Cognitive Science 40(2). 481–495.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Whorf, Benjamin Lee. 1956. Language, thought and reality. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Yu, Ning. 1998. The contemporary theory of metaphor: A perspective from Chinese. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2017-04-03

Accepted: 2018-05-10

Revised: 2018-03-06

Published Online: 2018-10-11

Published in Print: 2018-11-27


Citation Information: Cognitive Linguistics, Volume 29, Issue 4, Pages 677–701, ISSN (Online) 1613-3641, ISSN (Print) 0936-5907, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cog-2017-0043.

Export Citation

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in