A threat is a strange thing—for it is neither simply a deed done, nor undone. But if we think the threat in terms of the presence or absence of an actual or potential threat—as the history of philosophy (from the Greeks, through Hegel, to us) has done, then we miss what is threatening. For the threat—whether to life and limb, freedom or identity, or to an individual or group, family and friends, civil society or a state or the world as a whole—is the suspension of action. Then the threat is prior to possibility and impossibility, necessity and contingency, presence and absence. But this too, is a threat—and one that implicates us—at least insofar as the implied threat implies the threat of implication.
Based on selected presentations given at the conference “Morphosyntax of Caucasian Languages” held in December 2006 at the Collège de France (Paris).
The article reveals an attempt of the author to analyze the development of personality and its main components in ontogenesis using the system-structural approach. We regard these psychological phenomena as multidimensional, multilevel holistic formations, the origin of which, further development and functioning are characterized by distinct heterochrony. Our study of time phenomenon in personality evolution is based on B. Ananyev's definition of the person's age not only as ontogenetic phase succession but also as social life of a person, as well as the history of personality formation in a particular society at a certain stage of its historical development. As a methodological basis for this analysis of personality and its ontogenetic development we use the system approach and time phenomenon as an integral characteristic of person's evolution according to B. Ananyev.
In the first part of the paper, I examine cases of acceleration of perception and
cognition and provide my explanation of the mechanism of the e®ect. The explanation
rests on the conception of neuronal temporal frames, or windows of simultaneity. Frames
have di®erent standard durations and yield to stretching and compressing. I suggest it
to be the cause of the e®ect, as well as the ground for di®erences in perceptive time
scales of living beings. In the second part, I apply the conception of temporal frames
to model observation in the extended time scales that reach far beyond the temporal
perceptive niche of individual living beings. Duration of a frame is taken as the basic
parameter setting a particular time scale. By substituting a di®erent frame duration, we
set a hypothetical time scale and emulate observing reality in a wider or a narrower angle
of embracing events in time. I discuss the status of observer in its relation to objective
reality, and examine how reality does change its appearance when observed in di®erent
The chapter explores the semantics and pragmatics of the Russian temporal syntactic phraseme ‘X to X,’ (a construction characterized by a semantically restricted set of lexical items able to fill in its syntactic variables) which expresses either the speaker’s surprise at the fact that events go as planned (surprising punctuality interpretation) or the speaker’s surprise at the fact that unplanned events go as if they had been pre-planned (surprising fateful coincidence interpretation). While the construction is not unique, and occurs in other languages, its preferred interpretations are language-specific. The chapter demonstrates differences between Russian and English outlooks on time, based on their fundamental differences in linguistic worldviews. According to one of the central key ideas of the Russian linguistic worldview, events are difficult for human subjects to control, as they are commonly controlled by outside forces, such as fate, and therefore surprising punctuality interpretation prevails in Russian. English, which does not view punctuality as something out of the ordinary, favours the surprising fateful coincidence interpretation of this syntactic phraseme. The idea of fate in relation to temporality is also found in other languages, as demonstrated by Bernard Charlier’s research on Mongolian temporality in his chapter in the current volume.
The volume is dedicated to Viktor Khrakovsky's 80th anniversary. Viktor Khrakovsky is among the most prominent Russian typologists. He was among the creators of Peterburg typological school. The volume includes papers in typology, Russian lingusitics, Arabic studies and other domains of linguistics.
This article touches upon some problems in building up a lexicon for the part of universal ontology which accounts for force interactions. We have chosen certain semantic features in the lexical description as dominant ones and conducted a small survey among native speakers of Russian to prove the results.