David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Cognitive Science 35 (7):1305-1328 (2011)
In this paper we examine how English and Mandarin speakers think about time, and we test how the patterns of thinking in the two groups relate to patterns in linguistic and cultural experience. In Mandarin, vertical spatial metaphors are used more frequently to talk about time than they are in English; English relies primarily on horizontal terms. We present results from two tasks comparing English and Mandarin speakers’ temporal reasoning. The tasks measure how people spatialize time in three-dimensional space, including the sagittal (front/back), transverse (left/right), and vertical (up/down) axes. Results of Experiment 1 show that people automatically create spatial representations in the course of temporal reasoning, and these implicit spatializations differ in accordance with patterns in language, even in a non-linguistic task. Both groups showed evidence of a left-to-right representation of time, in accordance with writing direction, but only Mandarin speakers showed a vertical top-to-bottom pattern for time (congruent with vertical spatiotemporal metaphors in Mandarin). Results of Experiment 2 confirm and extend these findings, showing that bilinguals’ representations of time depend on both long-term and proximal aspects of language experience. Participants who were more proficient in Mandarin were more likely to arrange time vertically (an effect of previous language experience). Further, bilinguals were more likely to arrange time vertically when they were tested in Mandarin than when they were tested in English (an effect of immediate linguistic context)
|Keywords||English Time Language Culture Implicit association Metaphor Space Mandarin|
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Citations of this work BETA
Rafael Núñez & Kensy Cooperrider (2013). The Tangle of Space and Time in Human Cognition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 17 (5):220-229.
Andrea Bender & Sieghard Beller (2014). Mapping Spatial Frames of Reference Onto Time: A Review of Theoretical Accounts and Empirical Findings. [REVIEW] Cognition 132 (3):342-382.
Rose K. Hendricks & Lera Boroditsky (2015). Constructing Mental Time Without Visual Experience. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 19 (8):429-430.
Esther Walker & Kensy Cooperrider (2016). The Continuity of Metaphor: Evidence From Temporal Gestures. Cognitive Science 40 (2):481-495.
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