Linguistic and co-speech gestural patterns of spatiotemporal metaphors in Indonesian

Abstract accepted for oral-presentation at the 15th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, in Nishinomiya, Japan (6 - 11 August, 2019). Click on the dark pink Cite button (next to the Download button) for how to cite and view its DOI.

The topic is about metaphorical representations of time in terms of space in Indonesian language and co-speech gesture. Here we try to add a few (methodological) notes that cannot be fit in a single-page abstract. Comments and/or feedback are welcome! (the project is still at its initial stage).

In preparation for this abstract, we adopt the general guidelines from the L&C Field Manuals and Stimulus for "Time and Space Questionnaire" to firstly work on the space-time mapping as realised in linguistic expressions, before looking at co-speech gesture.

Regarding the linguistic expressions data

As the first step for gaining the linguistic data, we generated word n-gram (i.e. contiguous sequences of n-words) from a corpus file (named "ind_newscrawl_2016_1M-sentences.txt") of c15 million word-tokens as part of the Indonesian Leipzig Corpora Collection (download from here). The n-gram generation was performed in R (version 3.5.1) using the tokens_ngrams() function from the quanteda package. Then, we retrieved n-grams (i.e. bigram, trigram, and four-gram) centred around a set of temporal keywords in Indonesian, such as masa 'era; period', waktu 'time', zaman 'era; period'. This approach is inspired by the corpus-based Metaphorical Pattern Analysis (MPA) (Stefanowitsch 2006) that focuses on the metaphorical collocational patterns of words referring to the metaphorical target domain (such as TIME). Such an approach allows us to identify a number of linguistic elements the "Time and Space Questionnaire" focuses on, such as types of motion verbs and prepositional phrases collocating with the temporal words; our corpus-based approach adds quantitative information for these collocational patterns regarding their token frequency.

The linguistic data suggest that Indonesian also exhibits the two general patterns of temporal metaphors found in other languages (Sweetser & Gaby 2017:627): (i) one in which the passage of time is conceptualised as moving object toward a stationary observer or Ego (also called as MOVING-TIME metaphor as in "masa yang akan datang" 'time that will come'); (ii) one in which the ego is construed as moving along a temporal landscape with a moment in time is understood as a stationary object (also called as MOVING-EGO metaphor as in "sudah melewati zaman Orde Baru" 'already passed the era of the New Order'). Furthermore, linguistic evidence indicates that expressions for Front space is mapped onto the Future while Behind space is mapped onto the Past (cf. the abstract for the examples).

Regarding the co-speech gesture data

For the initial co-speech gesture data, we observe one episode of an Indonesian TV talk show Just Alvin. The episode is called "Golden Voice" featuring four top male Indonesian singers (the videos are available online and can be downloaded using Safari web browser in macOS Mojave (ver. 10.14.3)). The episode's central theme includes the main host (Alvin) asking the guests singers to narrate and tell how they know they have special music talents and distinctive voices. This allows the production of temporal expressions in the narratives. Our focus is on annotating gestures co-produced with verbal temporal expressions from the guests (e.g., reference to events in the past; the guests' career development over time up to the present). ELAN is used to annotate the co-speech gesture.