Conceptual associations of [time] as a dictionary entry. Spanish and German phraseological occurrences and their usage


  • Rosa Piñel López



German and Spanish Phraseology, conceptual associations, interculture


All humans experience time as a subjective experience, socially and culturally mediated. From birth we inherit a conception of the perception of time that has been transmitted by popular culture and is manifested mainly through oral tradition as phrasal expressions, proverbs and proverbial phrases. The differences in the perception of reality between different communities are expressed in their languages. They ultimately result in distinct symbols and conceptual associations, even if there is a common cultural tradition, as in the case of German and Spanish. These symbols and conceptualizations are realized in phraseology which refers, sometimes in a metaphorical way, to some aspects of reality. Phraseological creation is determined by universal conceptualizations, based on biological and psychological factors, and particular conceptualizations rooted in specific cultural variables associated with a social community of group. This paper is a revision of the concept of ‘time’ as reflected in German and Spanish phraseology. ‘Time’ is associated, among other notions, with concepts of destruction, medicine, opportunity, patience, change, justice, truth and advice. The phrasal idioms that illustrate the above concepts in both languages show that, despite the cultural differences, the perception of time, its conceptualization and its influence in the lives and behaviour of people.


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Author Biography

Rosa Piñel López

Rosa Piñel López realizó sus estudios de Filología Alemana en la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, donde asimismo obtuvo el título de Doctora en Filología Alemana por la UCM (1982). Desde el año 1983 es profesora titular
del Departamento de Filología Alemana. En la actualidad es también Directora del Grupo de Investigación IDIOMAT de la UCM, miembro de varios proyectos de investigación y coordinadora de estudios de Grado y Máster entre
la UCM y la universidad alemana de Ratisbona (Binationale Studiengänge). Ha participado en muchos congresos internacionales y ha publicado numerosas obras relacionadas con sus principales líneas de investigación: Lengua alemana, Lingüística contrastiva alemán-español, Lenguaje publicitario (alemánespañol) y Fraseología contrastiva alemán-español.



How to Cite

Piñel López, R. (2012). Conceptual associations of [time] as a dictionary entry. Spanish and German phraseological occurrences and their usage. Verba Hispanica, 20(1), 279–294.