Amondawa tribe lacks abstract idea of time, study says

The Amondawa language has no word for "time", or indeed of time periods such as "month" or "year". The people do not refer to their ages, but rather assume different names in different stages of their lives or as they achieve different status within the community. But perhaps most surprising is the team's suggestion that there is no "mapping" between concepts of time passage and movement through space. Ideas such as an event having "passed" or being "well ahead" of another are familiar from many languages, forming the basis of what is known as the "mapping hypothesis". But in Amondawa, no such constructs exist.

2011-05-20

 time language linguistics space psychology anthropology culture

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