• Home
  • > Selected Papers
  • > Volume 1
  • > Time at the interface of felt experience and social rhythms: Temporal construals in Modern Greek poetry

Time at the interface of felt experience and social rhythms: Temporal construals in Modern Greek poetry

Rather than being homogeneous, temporal experience is varied in that time can be felt as passing slowly or quickly corresponding to ‘protracted duration’ and ‘temporal compression’ respectively (Flaherty 1999). The present paper deals with construals of protracted duration and temporal compression that are manifested in metaphorical expressions of time found in Modern Greek poetry. Such metaphors prompt for a conceptualization of time in subjective terms thereby suggesting that time lies in the interface between its psychologically real experience and the social norm enacted by the clock. Following Fauconnier and Turner (2008) it is proposed that construals of subjective time can be accounted for within a generalized integration network of time. However, the empirical evidence under examination suggests that subjective time may be equally expressed in poetry in non-routine ways such as in the form of mapping asymmetrical events or by virtue of novel metaphors. Such cases, it is argued, also exploit the generalized integration network of time yet in a way that tacitly overrides our shared representations of time and therefore requires the overarching mechanism of conceptual integration. It thus transpires that conceptual integration theory may offer a unified account of construals of subjective time that either align with, or deviate from, its everyday conceptualization. Finally, in bringing together insights from social psychology and cognitive linguistics the present study essentially points to an interdisciplinary approach in the study of time conceptualization.

Keywords: protracted duration, temporal compression, generalized integration network of time, conceptual integration, poetry


Atkins, S., J. Clear and N. Ostler (1992). Corpus design criteria. Literary and Linguistic Computing 7: 1-16.

Bergson, H. (1960). Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness. Translated by F. L. Pogson. New York: Harper and Row.

Block, R. (1990). Models of psychological time. In R. Block (ed.), Cognitive Models of Psychological Time. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. pp. 1-36.

Cavafy, C. (1992). Collected Poems. Translated by E. Keeley and P. Sherrard. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Available at: www.cavafy.com.

Cook, A. (2010). Shakespearean Neuroplay. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Coulson, S. (2001). Semantic Leaps: Frame-shifting and Conceptual Blending in Meaning Construction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Evans, V. (2004). The Structure of Time: Language, Meaning and Temporal Cognition. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Evans, V. (2005). The meaning of time: Polysemy, the lexicon and conceptual structure. Journal of Linguistics 41: 33-75.

Haralambopoulou, K. (2010). A Principled Polysemy Approach as an Alternative to the Conceptual Metaphor Theory for the Study of Time in Greek. Ph. D. Thesis. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Fauconnier, G. (2009). Generalized integration networks. In V. Evans and S. Pourcel (eds.),  New Directions in Cognitive Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. pp. 147-160.

Fauconnier, G. and M. Turner (2008). Rethinking metaphor. In R.W. Gibbs (ed.), Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  pp. 53-66.

Fauconnier, G. and M. Turner (2002). The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind’s Hidden Complexities. New York: Basic Books.

Flaherty, M. (1999).  A Watched Pot. New York: New York University Press.

Grady, J., T. Oakley and S. Coulson (1999). Blending and metaphor.  In R.W. Gibbs (ed.), Metaphor in Cognitive Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.  pp. 101-124.

Guyau, J.-M. (1988 [1890]). The origin of the idea of time. In J.A. Michon (ed.), Guyau and the Idea of Time.  Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Company. pp. 37-148.

Husserl, E. (1999 [1928]). Phenomenology of the consciousness of internal time. In D. Welton (ed.), The Essential Husserl. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp. 186-220.

Hutchins, E. (1995). Cognition in the Wild. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Hutchins, E. (2005). Material anchors in conceptual blends. Journal of Pragmatics 37: 1555-1577.

James, W. (1950 [1890)]. The Principles of Psychology (vol. I). New York: Dover.

Johnson, M. (1987). The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Kövesces, Ζ. (2005). Metaphor in Culture: Universality and Variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lakoff, G. (1993). The contemporary theory of metaphor. In A. Ortony (ed.), Metaphor and Thought. 2nd edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  pp. 202-251.

Lakoff, G. and M. Johnson (1980). Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Lakoff, G. and M. Johnson (1999). Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought. New York: Basic Books.

Lakoff, G. and M. Turner (1989). More than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Marmaridou, S. (2008). Gnosiaki proseggisi sti simasiologiki analisi tou hronou sta Nea Ellinika [A cognitive approach to the semantic analysis of time in Modern Greek]. In A. Moser, A. Mpakakou, H. Haralambakis and D. Heila-Markopoulou (eds.), Glossis Harin: Tomos Afieromenos apo ton Tomea Glossologias ston Kathigiti Georgios Bampinioti [Linguae gratia: A volume dedicated from the Department of Linguistics to Prof. Georgios Bampiniotis]. Athens: Ellinika Grammata.  pp. 57-70.

Minkowski, E. (1970). View Lar  Lived Time: Phenomenological and Psychopathological Studies. Chicago: Northwestern University Press.

Munn, N.D. (1992). The cultural anthropology of time: a critical essay. Annual Review of Anthropology 21: 93-123.

Oakley, T. and A. Hougaard (ed.) (2008). Mental Spaces Approaches to Discourse and Interaction.  Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Silva Sinha, V. da, C. Sinha, J. Zinken and W. Sampaio (2011).  When time is not space: The social and linguistic construction of time intervals and temporal event relations in an Amazonian culture. Language and Cognition 3(1): 137-169.

Turner, M. (2001). Cognitive Dimensions of Social Science. New York: Oxford University Press.

Williams, R. (2004). Making Meaning from a Clock: Material Artifacts and Conceptual Blending in Time-telling Instruction. Ph. D. Thesis.  University of California at San Diego.


Download full text of the article as PDF