Temporal Reference

Authored by: Kasia M. Jaszczolt

The Routledge Handbook of Pragmatics

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415531412
eBook ISBN: 9781315668925
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315668925-19

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Abstract

Temporal reference in discourse is a topic that is intrinsically connected with the question of how humans conceptualise time. As such, it is also intrinsically connected with the question of linguistic relativity in that the observable differences between natural languages in expressing temporality can be regarded as reflections of the conceptual differences or, alternatively, explained as superficial differences that can be superimposed on the universal construal of temporal reference at the level of atomic concepts. In what follows, I therefore focus on two aspects pertaining to this important question: the views on the human concept of time and cross-linguistic differences in expressing temporality. These two aspects will allow us to propose plausible answers to such questions as:

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