- 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 discusses tense and aspect in the context of attested forms of discourse and text. The emphasis is on the semantic, pragmatic, textual, and stylistic functions of tense in context, taking into account linguistic features in the surrounding discourse, as well as the importance of factors such as medium (spoken or written), register (degree of formality), text type (literary vs. journalistic vs. conversational etc.), and discourse mode (narrative vs. report vs. description, etc.). Thus, tense and aspect are analyzed not purely as part of a linguistic “system” as such, but in the context of particular texts or forms of discourse. The article also explores the concept of “markedness” through two case studies: the narrative present and the narrative imperfect. Finally, it assesses the roles played by tenses in conveying particular points of view in texts, including shifts and/or ambiguities in point of view; Segmented Discourse Representation Theory; internal focalization and the French imperfective past tense; and textual polyphony.
Janice Carruthers (Ph.D. in French Linguistics, Cambridge University, 1993) is Professor of French Linguistics, Queen’s University, Belfast. She is a former editor of the Journal of French Language Studies and is author of the monograph Oral Narration in Modern French: A Linguistic Analysis of Temporal Patterns (Legenda, 2005). Her articles include Tense, voices and point of view in medieval and modern “oral” narration (with S. Marnette, 2007), Temps et oralité dans le conte oral (2006), Tense, orality and narration: The case of the néo-conte (2003), and several on the French passé surcomposé. She is co-editor, with P. Caudal, of Oral Narration/La Narration Orale (forthcoming from Cahiers Chronos, Rodopi).
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