Linguistic and cultural conceptualisations of time in Huni Kuĩ, Awetý and Kamaiurá indigenous communities of Brazil

Da Silva Sinha, Vera (2018) Linguistic and cultural conceptualisations of time in Huni Kuĩ, Awetý and Kamaiurá indigenous communities of Brazil. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis reports a comprehensive investigation and discussion of event-based concepts of time in three indigenous cultures and languages of Brazil: Huni Kuĩ, Awetý and Kamaiurá. The research was based on field work in the three communities. A combination of methods was used that varied from structured elicitation and comprehension tasks to open-ended questionnaires and interviews. Ethnographic information and observations of traditional time reckoning practices were gathered.

The research investigated the lexicalisation and indexicalisation of time intervals and temporal landmarks, focusing on three domains: life stages, times of day and seasons. The metonymic and metaphoric sources for conceptualising past and future in these languages were investigated, and the relationships between the conceptual and linguistic domain of time and other conceptual domains, including space but also the domain of thought and perception, were analysed. The event-based time intervals in all three languages are indexicalised by environmental happenings (water level, cool breeze, bird and animal songs), celestial bodies (sun, moon and stars) and activities. It was found that there are no lexical translation equivalents for ‘time’ in any of these languages, and no names for days of the week or months of the year. These results confirm and extend our previous study of the Amondawa language and culture. In these cultures, time is not organised and expressed metrically, but is event-based. It is suggested that the results are evidence of a cultural linguistic area encompassing at least the Greater Amazonia and Xingu regions.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
Depositing User: Users 9280 not found.
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2018 13:48
Last Modified: 09 May 2019 12:38


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