- Table of Symbols and Abbreviations
- About the Authors
- The Oxford Handbook of Tense and Aspect
- Philosophy of Language
- Narratology and Literary Linguistics
- Computational Linguistics
- Universals and Typology
- Discourse and Text
- Diachrony and Grammaticalization
- Language Contact
- Creole Languages
- Primary Language Acquisition
- Second Language Acquisition
- Remoteness Distinctions
- The Surcomposé Past Tense
- Bound Tenses
- Embedded Tenses
- Nominal Tense
- Lexical Aspect
- Verbal Aspect
- Perfective and Imperfective Aspect
- Progressive and Continuous Aspect
- Habitual and Generic Aspect
- Habituality, Pluractionality, and Imperfectivity
- Perfect Tense and Aspect
- Resultative Constructions
- Time in Sentences with Modal Verbs
- Evidentiality and Mirativity
Abstract and Keywords
This article, which discusses the use of tense in (mostly literary) narrative, specifically in narrative fiction and narrative poetry, and principally in English, French, and German literature, makes three clarifications. The first concerns the use of the term aspect, which refers here to only two types of aspect, namely, the imperfective and the perfective. The article compares the simple and perfect tenses in English as against the Romance languages in their marking of anteriority and regarding the completive function. The second proviso concerns the focus on narrative to the exclusion of drama and poetry. The third point of clarification concerns the definition of what is meant by narratology and literary linguistics. Narratology is used here broadly to include all literary approaches to narrative that use linguistic terminology (including the terminology of literary structuralism), and specifically the work of Mieke Bal, Seymour Chatman, Catherine Emmott, Gérard Genette, David Herman, Manfred Jahn, Gerald Prince, Marie-Laure Ryan, Franz Karl Stanzel, and others who have been focusing on tense as a significant feature of narrative texts.
Monika Fludernik is Professor of English Literature at the University of Freiburg/Germany. She is the author of The fictions of language and the languages of fiction: The linguistic representation of speech and consciousness (1993) and An introduction to narratology (2009). Her Towards a ‘natural’ narratology (1996) was the co-winner of the Barbara and George Perkins Prize of the Society for the Study of Narrative Literature. She has edited and co-edited several volumes of essays on a wide range of subjects, especial postcolonial theory. Her articles have appeared in, among others, Style, Narrative, Poetics Today, Journal of Literary Semantics, Text, Semiotica, Language and Literature, The Journal of Pragmatics, The Journal of Historical Pragmatics, Journal of Narrative Technique, New Literary History, and English Literary History.
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