Grammar – Why think about space?

All natural languages have the thing in common. They spatialize, that is, relate time and physical space. Evidently, a human being would reckon there has to be a place for a thing to happen.

 

The word spatialization comes from the Latin spatium. It meant a place, space, room or extent.

 

A word of Latin genetics, it can be pronounced as [speIsh-] or [speItIal], to avoid misinterpretation for special.

 

SCREENSHOT FROM THE SPACE ODYSSEY BY STANLEY KUBRICK

Space Odyssey: Mommy is gone “to shopping”.
Metro Goldwyn-Meyer

The Space Odyssey girl says her mommy is gone to shopping. The girl spatializes: she relates a person’s activity and a place.

 

Cognizance for language uses such as the participle comes later. However, the early ways to think about time and space do not vanish with maturation, and most children spatialize.

 

The place may not be specified, especially if to think about big shopping malls. Most kids yet would reason it has to be somewhere a person is, and if you go, it is to that place.

 

As children, we people first learn where objects, creatures, events, or people are. We learn to tell when things happen later. Orientation in physical space is primary, hence the name spatialization.

 

Not only in English, there would be words we can use for space, as well as for time. A phrase as,
BEFORE the turn”, might tell about a place;
BEFORE ten”, might tell about a time.

 

Languages differ in the words they trade between space and time, yet spatialization remains natural and sane sense, when we are grown up as well.

 

Let us try a mild brainteaser. If we compare our answers with family, friends, or other people, and get consistent results, we can consider the thing natural, even if we have not thought there could be anything like spatialization.

 

TASK 1. We have four short words and four patterns. We try to couple the patterns and the words.

 

Here are the four short words:
TO (as with a place: to that place);
ON (as with a ground: on this ground);
AT (as with a mark: at that mark);
IN (as with an area or space: in that area or space).

 

Here are the four patterns:
A. I think.
It is my opinion that…
Generally, I believe it is…

 

B. I am thinking.
(Now and here) I am considering, deliberating
(Now) I am wondering, if / over…

 

C. I have thought.
It has been some time now, that I reckon;
It has been my opinion that…

 

D. I have been thinking.
It has been some time now, that I am considering…
It has been some time now I am wondering if / over…

 

One match is done for us:
C. TO: I have thought.

 

TASK 2. Thinking how we think is an everyday matter, and learning a language without this ability might even make no sense. We happen to make plans, predict on situations, also professional and financial.

 

Let us think if we would couple the above patterns and short words differently, for these phrases.

 

E. I thought.
(THE PAST)
|
I will think.
(THE FUTURE)

 

ABOUT THE PAST
It was my opinion, that
Generally, I believed it was…

RESOLVE ON THE FUTURE
I am certainly going to be of the opinion still, that…
I am anyway going to believe it generally is…
If it turns out so, I am probably going to reckon that…

 

F. I was thinking.
(THE PAST)
|
I will be thinking.
(THE FUTURE)

 

ABOUT THE PAST
(Then and there) I was considering…
(That time) I was wondering if…

RESOLVE ON THE FUTURE
(If it comes to that) I’ll be considering…
(If the situation requires that) I’ll be reckoning on…

 

G. I had thought.
(THE PAST)
|
I will have thought.
(THE FUTURE)

 

ABOUT THE PAST
Then, it had been some time already that I reckoned…
Until then, it had been my opinion that…

RESOLVE ON THE FUTURE
I will have considered it, by then.
If the situation changes, I will have reckoned on that until then, only.

 

H. I had been thinking.
(THE PAST)
|
I will have been thinking.
(THE FUTURE)

 

ABOUT THE PAST
It had been some time then, that I was considering…
Then, it had been some time already I was wondering if / over…

RESOLVE ON THE FUTURE
I’ll have been reckoning long enough, by then
(and I say I will make my decision then, at that point).

 

If curious about the result, feel welcome to read:
GRAMMATICAL ASPECTS OR COGNITIVE VARIABLES?

*****

LINK: READ THIS IN A SLAVIC LANGUAGE, POLISH

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