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This has been a lively thread!  Spatial metaphors for time and the position of the future and past seem to be a particularly well-explored area in conlangs.  In my langs this is comparatively underexplored.  

In UNLWS we just decided, during the live collaboration video Sai mentioned a few days ago, that a long time would be simply a _big_ time, with the spatial metaphor one of size in no particular direction.  I've been told (e.g.) Greek does this too, as against English which uses "long", and Baltic which has a word for "of long duration" with no spatial usage.  But this is perhaps the first UNLWS expression of time that wasn't jerryrigged onto the TAM system, which is dedicated to time alone but had started to strain under the weight of extensions, and the grammaticalised graphs, which I think deserve further expansion and more thorough alloying with other machinery.  

Sabasasaj has directionals as an inflectional slot in the verb, which are involved in metaphor heavily, though I haven't systematically documented it, and what I have documented is pretty abstract.  One of the most salient of these metaphors is... if I had to put it into the Lakoff capital letters mould it would be roughly GOOD IS VERTICAL (while BAD IS HORIZONTAL) -- e.g. being in a good state is standing or being on top of something, in a bad state is being knocked over or being off of something.  Other ones are ONGOING IS NEARBY (used in coopting the directional system to form aspects of stage, e.g. stopping is going away), INTENSE IS UP, AFFECTEDNESS IS PENETRATEDNESS.
The metaphoric uses of directionals rise to the fore even more in their function as perfect markers (said perfect is developing into a basic past), though in some cases the effect is that the putative "metaphoric" sense ousts the spatial sense to a degree: e.g. /i/ is 'ahead' as a directional but nearly bleached of all meaning as a perfect marker.

On Thu, 11 Dec 2014 10:16:39 +0100, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>On 10 December 2014 at 19:04, Gary Shannon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Why should happy be up and sad be down when happiness could just as easily
>> be wide and sadness narrow?
>
>Interesting one.

I like it as well.

>> Why can't right be good and left (sinister) be
>> bad?
>
>It already is, alas, in many languages. Even in English. 

Alas, yes.  I've had a soft spot for left for a long time, in origin I think basically 'cause I found this metaphor unfair (and for the record, I'm right-handed).

On Fri, 12 Dec 2014 00:01:16 -0500, kechpaja <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>This conversation is reminding me of an idea I had a while back: a society and language where one of the main markers of social class was the directional system that a speaker used. The urban middle and lower classes, living most of their lives within cities, would use an absolute, radial directional system, in which the cardinal directions were uptown/downtown and clockwise/counterclockwise (with respect to the roughly-circular cities). 

That's some impressively consistent and persistent city planning.

>Most likely, each class would have a vague understanding of the terminology and systems used by the others, but they would (for the most part) not be fluent in it, in the same way that most modern Americans have to consult a compass or the sun to determine where the compass points lie.

Hm, I'm curious about and inclined to dispute your "most".  I'm a modern (North) American by upbringing and I'm quite aware of cardinal directions, to the extent that I'll still use them in conversation here in London even having learned that this often nonplusses my interlocutor.  I did absorb the rule of consulting the sun -- but wouldn't frame this as "having to" do so as much as just doing it.  

Someone on Metafilter, a graduate student in a lab in Europe, told the anecdote of how they gathered all the members of the lab and bade them point north.  The Americans forthwith pointed north; the Aussies and Kiwis with equally little hesitation pointed south (score one for the sun theory); the Europeans didn't have a clue.

I suspect that one would see a clearer effect drilling down by city.  New World and Antipodean cities are often planned and griddy, European ones rarely (see http://www.datapointed.net/2014/10/maps-of-street-grids-by-orientation/ for a beautiful take on the data).  In a similar vein, I grew up in Calgary where, griddiness aside, the mountains lay always on the western horizon, providing another reliable cue.  

Alex