F17-14-COGS1-NUNEZ-Making-Sense-of-Time.pdf

A cross culturally widespread ego centered pattern

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a cross-culturally widespread ego-centered pattern that preserves transitivity attested through linguistic analysis (Haspelmath, 1997) and psychological experiments (e.g. Miles et al., 2010) also evident in sign languages, e.g. ASL But, ... is it universal? present = co-location, future = in front of ego, past = behind ego Aymara (Andes) Yupno (Papua New Guinea) Universals? Radical variations? Discussion Conceptualizing time Background, theory, methods Outline
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Aymara: Past expressions ancha nayra pachana Morpheme by morpheme gloss: ancha a lot nayra eye, sight, front pacha time -na in, on, at Literal translation: A lot eye/front time-at Meaning: (At a) long time ago Aymara: Future expressions akata q”iparu Morpheme by morpheme gloss: aka here , this -ta from q”ipa back, behind -ru to, towards Literal translation: Here/this-from back-to Meaning: From now on But, ... is this evidence of a truly ego-centered counter-universal? Nope. This could be a case like before yesterday or after tomorrow in English (sequence-based form) Linguistic test: What is the reference point (RP)? In Aymara the test is NOT conclusive purely linguistic evidence is insuficient ... so, how can we tell? etymology says little about real-time cognitive reality A methodological challenge: the investigation of abstract concepts in isolated cultures issues include: - ecological validity - overt judgments (internal validity) - language is not transparent our approach: spontaneous co-speech gesture production!!
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Highlands Aymara The study 20 hours of raw video 17 towns from Northern Chile interviews with 30 participants everyday temporal expressions, anecdotes, stories analisis of pointing directionality co-occurrying with temporal terms Del año pasado ... [From last year ...] Example (1) ... a este año [... to this year] Example (2)
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Results (more live examples) Núñez & Sweetser, 2006 Nayra mara ... antiguo [old year/time] aka maran [this year] q’’ipa timpun [future times] Results — Aymara speakers Núñez & Sweetser, 2006 Results — Aymara, Spanish (only) speakers Núñez & Sweetser, 2006 Results — Aymara, Spanish (only) speakers
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Results Aymara participants producing sagittal past gestures (n=15) 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 Aymara - Castellano Andino speakers (no grammatical Spanish) Spanish speakers (bilinguals or monolinguals) Language Proficiency Percentage Past-Front only Past-Behind at least once Núñez & Sweetser, 2006 Fisher’s p = 0.035 Aymara participants producing only sagittal past/future gestures (n=10) 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 64 or younger 65 or older Age Percentage Past-Front or Future-Behind gestures Past-Behind or Future-Front gestures Fisher’s p = 0.024 Further questions Aymara case may be striking, but it is still ego-based (ego-centered) Are there groups that construe time not ego-centrically, but geocentrically? If so, what are the properties of such construals?
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  • Spring '08
  • LEWIS

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