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Speaking at Cambridge University, England at a small invitation-only workshop on Human Time: Title: Temporal Semantics and Grammar In Piraha~
April 3, 2020 @ 8:00 am
April 3, 2020 I will be speaking at Cambridge University, England at a small invitation-only workshop on Human Time:
Title: Temporal Semantics and Grammar In Piraha~
Abstract: In this talk I offer an analysis of time, aspect, and their manifestations in the grammar and semantics of Piraha. Although there is a rich system of verbal aspectual suffixation in the language, there is no purely temporal morphology. There is also a very limited number of time words. At the same time, the Pirahas do know about the past and the future, as opposed to the present, though they have culturally-imposed restrictions on how these can be talked about. This mismatch between Piraha temporal grammar and semantics is reflected elsewhere in the language, as in their discrimination of colors without naming them and their recursive thought without recursive grammar. Taken together, these facts argue strongly for a cultural semeiotics that weaves grammar, culture, and meaning together in ways important to the further understanding of human cognition.