Hopi Time


“Malotki’s monograph is a detailed refutation of the key points that Whorf makes about the linguistic expression of time in Hopi. The word ‘detailed’ is to be taken literally: whereas Whorf managed to present his ideas about the Hopi language without presenting a single Hopi sentence or phrase, Malotki’s text presents hundreds of Hopis sentences taken from his field-notes (mainly natural discourse) demonstrating that precisely those things which Whorf claimed are absent from Hopi are in fact readily possible in the language . ... Malotki’s presentation and argumentation are devastating. At the end, one is left only with the question ... how Whorf could have been led to make the generalisations about Hopi time expression which he did make. ... The sheer mass of counter-evidence to Whorf’s claims should be sufficient to stem the continuing flow of claims (often going wildly beyond Whorf’s own claims) made about Hopi time conceptualisation. ... Everyone who is interested in this problem, professionally or as an amateur, should be aware that Malotki has performed the inestimable service of debunking one of the persistent myths of twentieth-century linguistics.” --- Bernard Comrie, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

“[An] exceptional work, the reading of which is indeed an intellectual pleasure and the place for which is undoubtedly guaranteed in the annals of linguistics.” --- Alfred F. Majewicz, Poznan.

“Unlike Whorf, who generally wrote about Hopi with little or no supporting linguistic examples, Malotki’s Hopi Time abounds with well-analyzed and beautifully-displayed data. This rich linguistic documentation is the central contribution of the monograph, allowing us to subject Malotki’s claims to careful scrutiny in away that is impossible with Whorf’s writings, and also giving other researchers a large body of data that can be utilized for other purposes. It is, furthermore, a book that contains a rich store of cultural and religious information that is of interest to a far wider audience than linguists. ... All in all a beautiful descriptive work on Hopi temporal linguistics, filled with rich and well-analyzed data, and enlarging greatly our understanding of Hopi grammar as well as aspects of Hopi traditional knowledge. --- Leanne Hinton, University of California, Berkeley.

“This is an important work. The author offers a vast and thoroughly refined work on Hopi time in the scholarly tradition of German lexicography. The work is an important contribution to American Indian lexicography, and to ethnolinguistics at large. “ --- P. Pinxten, Revue Belge de Philologie et d’Histoire.

“In this book, Malotki has thoroughly documented the grammatical elements of Hopi that relate to the abstract domain of time. In the light of these data, he has examined Whorf’s conclusions and found many of them wanting. And he has done so convincingly ... Malotki’s analysis of temporals in Hopi is broader in scope than any similar study I have seen to date. The depth of detail in his analysis is almost overwhelming and overshadows by far the usual treatment of temporals in the literature.” --- Eugene H. Casad, Summer Institute of Linguistics.