Concepts of Space, Time and Motion in Contemporary Czech
PublisherUniverzita Karlova, Filozofická fakulta
SourceStudie z aplikované lingvistiky, 2020, Special issue, 29-47
Czech language, linguistic worldview, motion, space, time
Space, time and motion are crucial concepts in human thinking. They tend to be expressed differently in different languages and this can present difficulties for language learners. This paper summarises the basic linguistic means of expressing time, space and motion in contemporary Czech and attempts to systematise the existing linguistic research related to these topics. The analysis focuses on deictic, lexical (e.g. verbs of motion) and phrasal units and on selected grammatical categories (especially time, aspect and case) and points out specific features of a “Czech” understanding of the concepts as revealed by the given linguistic expressions. In Czech utterances, the concepts are usually interconnected, with several means connected with the concepts often appearing simultaneously. The “Czech” conceptualisation of space, time and motion is complex, but it is nevertheless organised in various ways (for example, along selected oppositions, metaphors or image schemas, using a specific categorisation of motion in verbs of motion). Furthermore, space and motion often function as a source domain for metaphors of more abstract concepts. It is suggested that this overview could provide some background for research into the use of Czech as a non-native language.