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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Temporal Gestures in Turkish Metaphor Explanations


Temporal gestures reveal our metaphorical thinking of time. Less is known about how speakers of different languages encode temporal gestures. We asked 19 adults to explain the meanings of 12 spatial metaphors of time in Turkish sentences. We coded gestures according to the coding scheme of Cooperrider and Nuñez (2009). Individuals produced 237 temporal gestures. There were 162 placing (68.35%), 10 pointing (4.22%), 13 duration-marking (5.49%), 12 bridging (5.06%), 40 animating (16.88%) gestures. We also identified 61 temporal gestures that did not fall into any category in their classification. These gestures depicted the change of the time of an event caused by humans (e.g., to postpone a meeting) with an open hand moving the events along an axis. We termed these as “moving” gestures and suggest that speakers of different languages may vary in their representations of temporal gestures.

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