Time Structuring In Languages Of Different Typologies

Abstract

The article explores the specifics of time structuring in the languages of different typologies, cultures and traditions. The localization of one and the same temporal segment in some languages before the time reference point, and in others – behind the given reference point, is explained by idiotic specificity of perception of the world around, including time, by representatives of different ethnoses. For conceptualization of similar time intervals, some languages use horizontal localization (correlation "in front" ~ "behind"), others use vertical localization (correlation "above" ~ "under"). Common to all languages, regardless of their grammatical structure and the ethnocultural traditions of their speakers, is the structuring of linguistic time based on spatial representations and using local terminology. Conceptualization of time by means of various spatial parameters is characteristic for both linear and cyclic time. In the article it is clearly demonstrated on the material of different languages that the basis of a large number of lexemes denoting the time interval is the semantic component "space" or "spatial movement". Semantic conversion is a common means of transforming local dialects ("behind", "ahead", etc.) into temporal ("after", "before", "before", etc.) in most languages and testifies to the close connection between space and time. As a possible proof of the former unity of space and time in linguistic consciousness is given the German word der Zeitraum "discrete space", in which etymologies merge into a single word der Raum "space" and die Zeit "time".

Keywords: Linguistic timespatial representationsconceptualizationstructuring

Introduction

The expression of time orientation, depending on the language means, is represented by two categories: substantive and procedural time. The procedural tense is expressed in finite (vido) tenses of the verb. Substantial tense is expressed by name units – deactic words, lexical semantics of which contain an indication of a certain period of time.

The substantial tense is more vivid than the procedural tense in conveying the difference in conceptualization of the real time by representatives of different cultures and traditions. The same temporal interval is represented by speakers of one language who are located behind a time reference point, while speakers of another culture represent the same period of time located in front of the time reference point. In the way temporal languages are formed and in their semantic content, the idiotic peculiarities of perception of time are particularly evident to representatives of different ethnic groups, different cultures and speakers of different languages.

Problem Statement

A clear distinction between real time and perceptual time is very important for language science. Real time, as well as real space, belongs to the sphere of objective outer world. Perceptual time, as well as perceptual space, refers to the sphere of perception of the objective external world by a human being, i.e. it is the real time reflected in human consciousness, existing as a concept in his consciousness.

The task of this article is to reveal the ethno-specificity of reflection of real time in genetically and typologically different languages. Linguistic meanings, especially grammatical ones, are not equivalents of objects and phenomena of objective reality expressed by them. Human consciousness acts as a mediator between reality phenomena and language. Two factors are constantly combined in the consciousness of a person perceiving real time: 1) objective factor – reflection of the objective world as it is; 2) subjective factor – ethno-specific attitude to the world with all subjectivity of its views and assessments.

Research Questions

The subject of this article is the idiosyncrasy of conceptualization of real time by bearers of different cultures and traditions.

Purpose of the Study

This article aims to investigate the peculiarities of the conceptualization of time in the languages of different cultures and traditions; to identify the relationship between the peculiarities of the structuring of linguistic time and the linguistic thinking of speakers of different typologies.

Research Methods

The solution of the tasks was carried out using methods of cognitive analysis, systematization and generalization, comparative-typological and conceptual analysis.

Findings

Linguistic time, or temporality, is a linguistic universal, since this category is inherent in all languages, although each language can be expressed in different ways.

Temporality can be described as a linguistic interpretation of the thinking category of time, since physical time is reflected first in the minds of people and then expressed in language. The temporality category has a complex internal structure and "is a multilayered and multidimensional phenomenon. In this sense, time is divided into different points in relation to a point of reference related to a specific process or action, fact or event" (Abdullaev, 1991, p. 7).

Grammatical categories reflect objective reality not directly, but indirectly. Linguistic meanings, especially grammatical ones, are not equivalents of objects and phenomena of objective reality expressed by them. Human consciousness acts as a mediator between reality phenomena and language. Two factors are constantly combined in the consciousness of a person perceiving the real time: 1) objective factor – reflection of the objective world as it is; 2) subjective factor – ethno-specific attitude to the world with all subjectivity of its views and assessments.

Not all linguists share the view that time is real because time is "subtle", "intangible", "secret" and "invisible". Moreover, if time were in some sense an objective reality, we could actually feel it, says Evans (2004), while Lakoff and Johnson (2003) notes the absence of a neurological apparatus that allows a person to feel global time.

Evans (2004), highlights two time problems: metaphysical and linguistic. The linguistic problem of time – why do we use language related to movement through three-dimensional space and locations in three-dimensional space to think and talk about time? Is there anything that is literally temporary outside the language of movement and space that we use to describe it? The ultimate goal of Evans' monograph is to establish the nature and structure of time, mainly to solve a metaphysical problem. But time is not only a metaphysical phenomenon, it is also linguistic. It is by exploring time as a linguistic phenomenon that Evans tries to solve a metaphysical problem.

The notion of the Future was developed from the point of view of conceptual content related to localization "before" the subject perceiving time: ("The Future is before us"). Evans (2004) argues that this can happen because of the difficult correlation between the notion of the Future, which comes from the existing expectation of understanding the purpose, and the purpose before the subject.

The notion of the Past, on the contrary, has been developed from the point of view of conceptual content related to localization behind the subject perceiving time: ("The Past is behind me").

The situation when the lexical content of the Past and Future is developed from the point of view of the content related to the localization "behind" and "before" the subject, respectively, is considered linguistically correct. This situation is observed in almost all known languages of the world: Chinese, Japanese, Indo-European, etc. However, this is not a universal situation because, as Evans (2004) points out, some languages, such as Aymara, spoken in the Andean region of Peru, Chile and Bolivia, structure notions of the Past and the Future differently from English. The Aymara language uses the localization "behind" the subject to indicate the Future, while the Past appears to be localized "ahead" of the subject perceiving time. All of this indicates the ethno-specificity of perception of time by bearers of different cultures and the importance of our body in building the world in which we live. For all the logics of this perception of time (at first glance), there is its own logic: the past has clear outlines, it has already been, it is understandable, observable, as observable what is before the eyes, i.e. before a man. The future has no such clear outlines, it is hidden from the eyes and, therefore, is localized behind the subject perceiving the world. Every culture, every ethnos has its own logic of perception and reflection of time in spatial terms.

The Indo-European languages also have a similar time structure. Thus, in the German language there are nouns naming sections of cyclic time from the sphere of the past, localizing them "ahead", for example: das Vorjahr "past (expired) year", letters. "ahead of the year; der Vormonat "past (expired) month", letters. "before month"; die Vorwoche "past week", letters. "a week ahead"; der Vormonat "past month"; die Vorwoche "past week"; letters. A similar situation is observed in Russian: предыдущий (прошлый) год, предыдущий (прошлый) месяц, предыдущая (прошлая) неделя.

Native speakers of the same language represent the same period of time behind the time benchmark. And speakers of another culture represent the same period of time located in front of the time reference point. For example, the adverb of time expressing the semantics of "the day before yesterday" in the Russian language. Obviously, the original for this adverb is the semantics of the location behind the time reference point, namely the word "yesterday". In German an adverb with similar semantics is formed by means of the preposition of spatial semantics, which conveys the location "before" the reference point – literally: "before yesterday" – vorgestern. It is the same in English – the day before yesterday literally, "day before yesterday." The adverb before in English has temporal semantics "before", derived from the spatial semantics "before".

In different languages, dialects expressing semantics "the day after tomorrow" are formed according to different models. In German, the day following tomorrow is localized in a vertical projection above tomorrow: the literal translation of übermorgen will be "above (top) tomorrow". In Dargin, the same semantics is localized in the horizontal projection behind tomorrow: царахIел "behind tomorrow". In both languages, spatial adverbs or prepositions of spatial semantics, derived from the adverbs of place and time "tomorrow", are used to express temporal semantics. In Dargin language the semantics of arrangement behind, i.e. "the day that is behind tomorrow", is the source language and in this respect reveals semantic commonality with a similar Russian adverb – "the day after tomorrow" (after = behind).

To conceptualize time, some languages use horizontal localization (correlation "ahead" ~ "behind"), others use vertical localization (correlation "above" ~ "under"). The vertical conceptualization of time is characteristic of the Dagestani languages, the languages of the ergonomic typology in which the Future is presented as a localized "above" subject, while the Past is presented as a localized "under" subject perceiving time. For example: in the Avar language тIадеялълъул means "next year." The root of this lexeme is represented by an adverb тIад "on, upstairs, above", тIаде "up". The lexeme гъоркьисса means "last year", here the root is represented by an adverb гъоркь "under". In Karatinic it is also каъарис решин "next year," literally "upper year".

As we can see, conceptualization of space has a primary character in relation to lexical units that are part of the conceptual picture of time. Conceptualisation of time through various spatial parameters is characteristic of linear time. Thus each culture builds its own model of the world based on categories of space and time, as both the category of space and the category of time refer to universal ways of perception of reality (Bybee et al., 1994; Jespersen, 1931).

The semantic component "space" or "spatial movement" forms the basis for some temporal units of vocabulary representing cyclic time. The spatial movement of celestial bodies (the sun and the moon) is associated with many words denoting one or another period of time. For example, the unit of time measurement is the "year" denoted in German by the lexeme das Jahr. The noun das Jahr "year" is testified in the eighth century and together with related words from Latin, Greek, Germanic and Slavic languages is derived from the Indo-European root *iero-, *ioro- "year," "summer." If you look at this root as an extension based on vowel elongation *ei- (or *eid-) "to go", the Latin verb ire "to go" also ascends to this root, it should be based on the primary meaning of "walk, movement of the sun" (Pfeifer, 1993).

The evidence that cyclic time was measured by the spatial movement of the celestial body is the fact that in Russian the same lexeme "month" represents two values: the celestial body "month (moon)" and the unit of time "month (calendar)". Similar semantics is represented in the English language by the lexeme month, in Avar – моцIцI, in Dargin – бадз, in Lak – барз, in Lezgin – варз, in Tabasaran – вара, in Arhi – бац in Chamalal – босIсI and etc. The above listed Dagestani lexemes belong to the general Caucasian chronological level (Haydakov, 1973).

Though there are two independent lexemes in German to denote the calendar month der Monat and the celestial body of the month (moon) der Mond, both lexemes reveal a material commonality, they go back to the same root – the ancient Upper German mendt "month, moon", which in turn dates back to the Indo-European verb mё "measure". In the calendar month in all languages, the starting point is the position of the moon. Researching chronology of the ancient world Bickerman (1975) pays attention that "almost all peoples of the Mediterranean ... ... and also Jews and Babylonians began to count down month from the moment of occurrence of a new crescent" (p. 218).

The Caucasian peoples also used the position of the moon to measure time. Here, the lunar calendar also preceded the solar calendar. In most Dagestani languages, some words denoting specific periods of time are associated with the spatial movement of celestial bodies (the sun and moon). The location of the sun in the sky is primarily connected with the measurements of the daily time, the name of the light part of the day (day or segment of the day). Thus, in the Avar language, the words къо "day", къаде "afternoon", бакъанида «after lunch» and the word бакъ "sun" reveals a material commonality – the root къ. Mallaeva (1992) gives the names of some parts of the day, the semantics of which is connected with the location of the sun in the sky, for example: къад (къаде) "at daytime", "in the afternoon", literally (ба-къ "sun" + ад "at the top" = "high sun"), къадеялде "to the afternoon", къадеялдасса нахъе "after the afternoon", бакъанида "in the evening", бакъули (diealect) "in the evening", literally "sun passing time", бакъаниде "in the evening", бакъанимех "night time", literally " sun passing time", къаденахъе "in the afternoon", "after the afternoon", къаденахъеялде "in the evening".

The name of the light part of the day is connected with the position of the sun in the sky not only in the Avar language, but also in other Dagestani languages. In Lezghin, the words denoting югъ "day" and рагъ "sun", also have the same root -гъ. In Dargin the wrord бархIи has two meanings: "sun" и "day". The first meaning of the word бархIи бwas "sun", then based on the metaphorical transference of the word бархIи has taken on the meaning of "day".

The spatial movement of the celestial bodies, namely the sun and moon, was also reflected in the temporal vocabulary of the German language, reflecting specific time intervals – the time of day, for example: der Sonnenaufgang "sunrise", "dawn"; der Sonnenuntergang "sunset".

The connection between space and time also manifests itself in the fact that depending on the position of the sun and moon in the sky (spatial movement of the celestial luminaries) the time of day is determined. In this case, speakers of different languages divide the day into different number of parts.

In the Avar language the daily time consists of ten time periods: Radak (covers the time period from one o'clock in the morning to three o'clock in the morning); бецIрогьалилълъ (between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m); рогьалида (between 4:00 and 6:00 a.m); радал (between 6:00 and 9:00 a.m); макьихъ (between 9:00 and 12:00 p.m); къаде (between 12:00 and 3:00 p.m); къаденахъе (between 15 and 17 p.m); бакъанида (19 p.m. till sunset); маркIачIуда (from sunset to darkness), богда (богода) (from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.). This division, of course, has nothing to do with precise astronomical time. The time limits we have indicated are very variable and can vary, especially at different times of year. As synonymous, the word богода "at night, at night" an adverb къасси "at night, in the evening" is used. The same meaning is given to the word релъеда "at night, in the evening". The only dialect that separates the night from the evening is сардилI "at night" (Mallaeva, 1991).

In German, the daily time consists of seven time sections: Morgen "morning"; Vormittag "morning"; Mittag "noon"; Nachmittag "afternoon"; Abend "evening"; Spätabend "late evening"; Nacht "night".

In German, there is a wonderful word that indicates that originally space and time were not differentiated, it is the lexeme der Zeitraum "discrete space", literally "time and space", whose etymologies merge into a single word der Raum "space" and die Zeit "time".

The close link between space and time is also demonstrated by the fact that local dialects are transformed into temporal ones by means of semantic conversion, for example in the Avar language: хадуб "behind" (space) and "after" (time), цебе "ahead" (space) and "before, before" (time); in Dargin; гьалаб "ahead" (in spatial sense) and "before" (in temporal sense); гIелаб "behind" (in spatial sense) and "after" (in temporal sense).

Spatial notions in relation to lexical units included in the conceptual picture of the world of speakers of different languages are not only primary, but also basic. The majority of lexemes denoting a time period, as etymological research shows, are based on the semantic component "space" or "spatial movement".

The main factor in the development of temporal vocabulary was the collective and subjective representation of the surrounding phenomena of nature, in particular the movement of celestial bodies, objectified in the language picture. In this case there was an overlay of one picture of the objective reality on the other, isolated by man as a result of empirical observation and fixed in the language.

Conclusion

The analysis showed that language values, including temporal values, are not equivalent to the objective reality phenomena they express. Human consciousness acts as a mediator between reality and language. Two factors are combined in the consciousness of a person perceiving real time: 1) objective factor – reflection of the objective world as it is; 2) subjective factor – ethno-specific attitude to the world with all subjectivity of its views and assessments. At the same time, each culture builds its own model of the world based on the categories of space and time, since both the category of space and the category of time refer to universal ways of perception of reality.

References

Copyright information

The paper is devoted to the issues of effective organization of training in a foreign community, in particular, the most efficient approaches to prefixal verbs of motion at different stages of training. In the practical course of the Russian language for foreign students, one of the difficult topics is the study of prefixal verbs of motion. The ambiguity of semantic, formal identity of verbs, large quantitative composition of this language group leads to difficulties of studying prefixal verbs and their use in speech. The paper presents the errors from written works of foreign students and gives the analysis of their causes. The paper analyses the possibilities of using various techniques, including the system of training exercises. It considers methodological techniques of dealing with lexical and grammatical units of the studied language at the stages of introducing new educational material, its consolidation and activation in speech, such as the demonstration of a speech model, translation, comment, diagrams, tables, frames, drawings. Besides, the paper highlights the rational combination of systematic performance of training exercises, which lay down a strong language base, and various techniques, which activate the reclusive activity of foreign students, form and develop their speech, help to master such complex and voluminous educational material as prefixal verbs of motion. The provisions set forth in the paper are based on the study of scientific and methodological literature, teaching manuals on Russian language for foreigners, observations in the educational process, as well as personal experience of teaching Russian language to foreign students.

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

31.10.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.10.05.280

Online ISSN

2357-1330