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Time and Temporality in Language and Human Experience


Edited By Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk and Krzysztof Kosecki

Culture and language provide two essential frameworks to deal with the concept of time. They view time as observer-determined and thus shed light on multiple and often conflicting temporalities we live in, think, and talk about. Relying on empirical methods, the book explores linguistic and psychological parameters of time perception and conceptualization. It deals, among others, with temporal aspects of language acquisition, neural mechanisms of memory and attention, as well as event structures. Further chapters focus on the understanding of time in philosophy, literature, the arts, and non-verbal communication.
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Temporal Parameters of Narrative Events: a Study of Unitizing a Videotaped Activity and its Verbal Coding


Janusz Badio, University of Łódź Poland


The paper deals with the perception and verbalisation of events. To this end an approximately 2 minute long, silent video was constructed (study one), which showed a girl, then two girls performing mundane activities at home. The video was then unitized into segments that seemed most meaningful to the participants (N=45). The hypothesis that the participants would spontaneously get divided into two groups of either coarse or fine grain coders did not become confirmed. Instead, they showed a tendency to divide the video into approximately 19 events. As shown on a sub-sample (N=8) in a qualitative analysis, the breakpoints that the viewers decided to mark off, were points of physical change in activity that additionally and more importantly, coincided with moments associated with changes of goals or plans in behaviour. Those participants who were additionally guided by mere physical change in the body posture of the actresses were in minority. The second study looked at Polish-native versus English-foreign verbalisation of the same video content. The hypothesis that the English-foreign condition would have fewer coded events was not confirmed.


Event, event segmentation, activity, verbal coding, English, Polish, video


The present paper reports the design, analysis and results of a study that is exploratory in character. It is a pilot work into how people segment a continuous stream of activity into events and how they code it...

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