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Time and Temporality in Language and Human Experience

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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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Introduction

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: Time as a Multidimensional Concept

Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk1 and Krzysztof Kosecki, University of Łódź, Poland

There are two main visions relating to the concept of time. The first, classical one, describes time as constant, universal and possibly extramental. The more recent one, rooted in Einstein’s theories of relativity, proposes a space-time perspective and views time as strongly dependent on the observer. Looking across various scientific disciplines which ask questions about the existence and essence of time, a place and role for language studies can be identified as illuminating the role of objective and subjective time as well as shedding light on multiple temporalities we live in, think and talk about.

The research presented in this volume has been inspired by a number of projects investigating time and temporal experience in human life and language with researchers working either independently or in teams. COST Action TD0904 TIMELY, in which the University of Lodz participates, provides us with a unique opportunity to meet and learn from one another in a truely international surrounding. A parallel project from the National Science Centre in Poland, focusing on the Perception of Time as a Linguistic Category (Project No UMO- 2011/01/M/HS2/03042), makes it possible for us to deal with complex issues in the cognitive analysis of time in terms of the structure of events, identification and extraction of temporal expressions from large language corpora and several attempts at a new interpretation of time and temporal categories in linguistic and artistic creations....

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