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Book Sections Year : 2021

On so-called ‘tense uses’ in French as context-sensitive constructions

Patrick Caudal


The purpose of this paper is to establish that so-called ‘uses’ of verbal infections such as the French imparfait can articulate a constructional, ‘entrenched’ dimension, with a context-sensitive, semantic/pragmatic enrichment dimension – i.e., that one type of modelling mechanism (lexical entrenchment vs. dynamic, context-sensitive semantic/pragmatic enrichment). In order to reveal the complexity of the matter at stake, I will here focus on two relatively well-known uses of the imparfait, namely the so-called ‘attenuative imparfait’ (also known as imparfait de politesse), which associates with utterance conveying polite requests, and the so-called ‘narrative imparfait’, which associates with sequence-of-events narrative discourses.
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hal-03153436 , version 1 (26-02-2021)


  • HAL Id : hal-03153436 , version 1


Patrick Caudal. On so-called ‘tense uses’ in French as context-sensitive constructions. Jakob Egetenmeyer; Martin Becker. Tense, aspect & discourse structure, de Gruyter, In press, Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie. ⟨hal-03153436⟩
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