Title
Un sens épistémique pour l'imparfait et le passé simple?Un sens épistémique pour l'imparfait et le passé simple?
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
Research group
Antwerp Center for Pragmatics (IPrA Research Center)
Publication type
article
Publication
Paris,
Subject
Linguistics
Source (journal)
Langue franšaise. - Paris
Volume/pages
(2012):173, p. 99-114
ISSN
0023-8368
ISI
000304229700007
Carrier
E
Target language
French (fre)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Walter De Mulder, Epistemic meanings for the French imperfect and simple past? In this article, we propose an epistemic definition of the schematic meaning of the French imperfect (imparfait) and simple past (pass simple), based on R. Langacker's and F. Brisard's analyses of the English simple present and past tenses. It is shown, however, that these definitions cannot explain all uses of these French non complex past tenses and that their schematic meaning must also contain indications concerning the temporal, aspectual and discursive values of the tenses. Although the schematic meaning of these tenses is thus shown not to be essentially epistemic, their use can reflect the epistemic attitude of the speaker. Moreover, it can be shown that the imparfait has at least one evidential use.
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