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Re: future past:Rihana-ye

From:Jonathan Knibb <j_knibb@...>
Date:Monday, June 14, 2004, 12:51
David Peterson wrote:
>For the strange, of course, there's always English. Consider that "after" >means "towards the aft", or "behind", and "before" means "in front of" >or "ahead". Yet, temporally, "after" means further in time, and "before" >means earlier in time, whereas all the rest of the English metaphors >work in *exactly* the opposite way: "Let's leave that meeting behind us, >and move on ahead to our next meeting."
Having just yesterday finished Lakoff and Johnson's 'Metaphors We Live By', I give their account with the zeal, and probably the inaccuracy, of the convert. :) According to them, there are two distinct metaphors at work. One relates to the speaker moving through time as through space, hence 'That's all behind us now' = 'That's in our past'. The other relates to *events* moving through time, with the speaker conceptualised as the motionless centre relative to which the events move. Events necessarily move from future to past - unlike the speaker, who moves from past to future. Events are therefore thought of as facing towards us, as moving towards and facing the past. So, in a sequence of events, the first to arrive are 'before' = in front of the others. The tension, and its resolution, can be felt in the pair of sentences: 'He awoke on the day before the exam. The exam lay before him.' Was he before the exam or was the exam before him? Both - they are facing each other. Jonathan. _________________________________________________________________ It's fast, it's easy and it's free. Get MSN Messenger today!