Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Claude Vandeloise

Abstract

There are, among natural languages in the world, two modes of temporal expression: tensed languages use morphological means to express time relationships; whereas tenseless languages use only lexical, co-textual and/or contextual means in their temporal expression. In fact, we can also identify two modes of temporal expression among different moods in French. The Indicative Mood uses morphological means to expresse time relationships; whereas with moods other than the Indicative (i.e. the Infinitive, the Participle, the Subjunctive and the Conditional), the utterer has to recourse to lexical, co-textual and/or contextual indication to distinguish different time relationships. Furthermore, within the forms of the Indicative Mood, we can also identify two modes of temporal expression. The so-called Narrative Present and similar uses of the compound past are actually temporally neutralized forms: they all rely on lexical, co-textual and/or contextual indication in temporal expression. These two forms constitute a parallel level of aspectual-temporel expression in different kinds of discourse. Therefore, there are actually two levels of aspectual-temporal expression with the forms of the Indicative: at one level, aspectual-temporal oppositions are realized by means of all the tense forms of the Indicative; at the other level, aspectual-temporal expression is realized by the temporally neutralized present and compound past combined with lexical, co-textual and/or contextual indication of time. One level is more formal and more complexe in aspectual-temporal expression; the other is more casual and simpler in aspectual-temporal expression. An analysis of different texts is proposed, illustrating the mechanism of two levels of aspectual-temporal expression in discourse.

ISBN

9780591035308

Pages

230

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