In the most recent issue of Language and Cognition, there is an article, "When time is not space: The social and linguistic construction of time intervals and temporal event relations in an Amazonian culture," by Chris Sinha, Vera Da Silva Sinha, Jörg Zinken and Wany Sampaio (here). It focuses on the Amazonian tribe the Amondawa in Brazil who lack, according to the article, an abstract conception of time in the sense of there being a space within which events occur (the BBC among other news outlets have run stories on it [see here for instance]). Such studies are not new, of course. Lev Vygotsky, for instance, did studies in rural Russia in the 1920s that also showed a lack of abstract ideas among the people that he argued was due to their being an exclusively oral culture. What I found interesting about this recent article is the debate that has emerged to account for the fact that when the Amondawa learn Portuguese they quickly adjust to mapping temporal events into spatial relations with one another. Whether the Amondawa truly lack the capacity to map temporal events into spatial relations or whether they already do so implicitly but simply lack, due to the scaffolding of their environment and language, the means to express such mappings is the subject of the debate. From my perspective this case nicely illustrates the Deleuzian distinction between intensive and extensive. I would argue that the mapping is not a consequence of the language categories that place temporal events into extensive relations with one another but these categories themselves actualize intensive properties of their social-environmental relations (and it should be noted the Amondawa do mark important life changes by giving individuals different names, so they already mark temporal events but not in relation to a more abstract space). As they learn Portuguese these intensive processes come to be actualized by way of a different set of abstract categories (categories that themselves have their own history, their own intensive properties that they have actualized), and hence the ease with which the Amondawa pick up their use. I'll be interested to hear what those who work much more than I do on linguistics, semantics, extended mind, etc., have to say.