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Time, perspective and semantic representation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 May 2017

K. M. JASZCZOLT*
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge

Abstract

I discuss the perspectival nature of temporality in discourse and argue that the human concept of time can no more be dissociated from the perspectival thought than the concept of the self can. The corollary of this observation is that perspectival temporality can no more be excluded from the semantic representation than the notion of the self can: neither can be reduced to the bare referent for the purpose of semantic representation if the latter is to retain cognitive plausibility. I present such a semantic qua conceptual approach to temporal reference developed within my theory of Default Semantics. I build upon my theory of time as epistemic modality according to which, on the level of conceptual qua semantic building blocks, temporality reduces to degrees of detachment from the certainty of the here and the now. I also address the questions of temporal asymmetry between the past and the future, and the relation between metaphysical time (timeM), psychological time (timeE, where ‘E’ marks the domain of epistemological enquiry), and time in natural language (timeL), concluding that the perspective-infused timeE and timeL are compatible with timeM of mathematical models of spacetime: all are definable through possibility and perspectivity.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © UK Cognitive Linguistics Association 2017 

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