ANTH Colloquium - Paul Kockelman (Yale University) "Still Too Sweet: On Thresholds of Time and Intensity"

Monday, November 18, 2019 - 12:00pm

3260 South Street, Penn Museum Rm 345


This talk is about the intersection of time and intensity, and the establishment of thresholds more generally. Using data from Q'eqchi' (Maya) and English, I focus on the intersection of two sets of categories: indefinite quantities like 'too much' and 'not enough', and temporal adverbs like 'still', 'already', 'not yet', and 'no longer'. I analyze the ways such categories are used in judgments about energetic resources and entropic processes. And I show the role such thresholds play in non-linguistic practices, as evinced in ethical standards, computation algorithms, ritual prohibitions, and ecological feedback mechanisms.