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Language and Time
A Cognitive Linguistics Approach


  • Date Published: October 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107043800

£ 73.99

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About the Authors
  • Using language and thought to fix events in time is one of the most complex computational feats that humans perform. In the first book-length taxonomy of temporal frames of reference, Vyvyan Evans provides an overview of the role of space in structuring human representations of time. Challenging the assumption that time is straightforwardly structured in terms of space, he shows that while space is important for temporal representation, time is nevertheless separate and distinguishable from it. Evans argues for three distinct temporal frames of reference in language and cognition and evaluates the nature of temporal reference from a cross-linguistic perspective. His central thesis is that the hallmark of temporal reference is transience, a property unique to the domain of time. This important study has implications not only for the relationship between space and time, but also for that between language and figurative thought, and the nature of linguistically-mediated meaning construction.

    • Compares and contrasts the nature of the domains of time and space in language and thought
    • Provides a state of the account of the nature of meaning construction, with reference to time
    • Examines and nuances the nature and role of conceptual metaphors in the construction of linguistically-mediated meaning
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Time is at once familiar and mysterious. Its status in the physical universe may be uncertain and contested, cultural conceptions of it may vary dramatically, but time is fundamental to all human experience. Vyvyan Evans furnishes linguists and other researchers with important new tools for thought about this fascinating domain.' Chris Sinha, Lund University, Sweden

    'Evans' volume [offers] a multifaceted approach that will meet the interests of various disciplines such as semantics, psycholinguistics, metaphor theory, linguistic relativity, metaphysics and conceptualization of time, anthropology, and philosophy of language.' Sonja Zeman, The Linguist List

    'Vyvyan Evans's Language and Time is a product of this newly found confidence in the field of cognitive science. It is an important work that expands Evans's earlier studies dealing with lexical concepts for time (The Structure of Time, 2004) and his Theory of Lexical Concepts and Cognitive Models, LCCM for short (How Words Mean, 2009), and an ambitious enterprise of applying his LCCM to a specific area of investigation, taking us into the complexities of the use of language and thought to place events in time, or temporal reference.' Anca M. Nemoianu, KronoScope

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107043800
    • length: 286 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 32 b/w illus. 28 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Orientation:
    1. Introduction
    2. Access semantics
    3. The nature of temporal reference
    Part II. Temporal Frames of Reference:
    4. Deictic temporal reference
    5. Sequential temporal reference
    6. Extrinsic temporal reference
    7. Time versus space
    Part III. Meaning Construction and Temporal Reference:
    8. Conceptual metaphors and lexical concepts
    9. Figurative meaning construction in LCCM theory
    10. Semantic affordances and temporal reference
    11. Universals and diversity in the cross-linguistic representation of time.

  • Author

    Vyvyan Evans, University of Wales, Bangor
    Vyvyan Evans is Professor of Linguistics at Bangor University. He has published eight books and published articles in many of the leading journals in language and cognitive science. He is currently writing two general audience books relating to language and mind and serves as President of the UK Cognitive Linguistics Association and co-editor of the journal Language and Cognition. For further information on his research please visit

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