Crossing the Boundaries of Time: Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology and Cognitive Linguistic Theories

Linguagem, Cultura e Cognição: Estudos de Linguística Cognitiva, Vol. 2, Augusto Soares da Silva, Amadeu Torres, Miguel Gonçalves, eds., pp. 643-655, Coimbra: Almedina, 2004

16 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2009

See all articles by Margaret H. Freeman

Margaret H. Freeman

Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts - MICA

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

According to current cognitive linguistic theory, the abstract notion of TIME in many languages of the world is expressed through a metonymic relation involving direc-tion, irreversibility, continuity, segmentation, and measurability and one of two possible versions of the TIME AS ORIENTATION IN SPACE metaphor: either the observer moves or time does. In Phenomenology of Perception (1945), Merleau-Ponty argues for the possibility of understanding what he calls 'our primordial experience'of time through an exploration, analysis, comparison, and evaluation of the different metaphors for time, not as they exist in themselves but as they are grounded in what other cognitive linguists have explored with respect to subjectivity, concept formation, and conceptual integration. This 'primordial experience' of time is possible because of the embodiment of ourselves in the world and gives rise to Merleau-Ponty’s theory of an ontology of the flesh; the fact that we are 'of' rather than 'in' the world gives rise to his theory of time as depth. In this paper, I show how Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of time might 1) clarify the picture Lakoff and Johnson give of the existence of time and 2) provide a philosophical foundation that integrates various contemporary cognitive linguistic theories.

Keywords: Merleau-Ponty, phenomenology, cognitive linguistics, embodiment, metaphor, time, space

Suggested Citation

Freeman, Margaret H., Crossing the Boundaries of Time: Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology and Cognitive Linguistic Theories (2004). Linguagem, Cultura e Cognição: Estudos de Linguística Cognitiva, Vol. 2, Augusto Soares da Silva, Amadeu Torres, Miguel Gonçalves, eds., pp. 643-655, Coimbra: Almedina, 2004, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1427845

Margaret H. Freeman (Contact Author)

Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts - MICA ( email )

23 Avery Brook Road
Heath, MA 01346-0132
United States
413 337 4854 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/a/case.edu/myrifield/

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