By Suzanne Fleischman
An research into the linguistic beginning of narrative discourse, this ebook goals to reach at an knowing of linguistic techniques utilized by story-tellers to constitution adventure, genuine or invented.
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Additional info for Tense and Narrativity: From Medieval Performance to Modern Fiction
Ah! ” Orso NE RÉPONDATT PAS [IMP/ accomplishment]. Il ÉTAIT [IMP] pale comme un mort et TREMBLAIT [IMP] de tous ses membres. “It’s nothing,” he said [PS]…. Then, in the middle of putting on the bandage [R] HE INTERRUPTED HIMSELF [IMP/achievement] to shout: “Double hit! … It’s the vicar who’s going to laugh…. Double hit! Ah! ” Orso DIDN’T RESPOND [IMP/accomplishment]. He WAS [IMP] pale as death and TREMBLED [IMP] in every limb. 11) Lorsque le notaire arriva [PS]…elle les reçut [PS] elle-même et les invita [PS] à tout visiter….
For example, I have observed that the PRa predictably co-occurs with telic situations, particularly achievements, while the PRv co-occurs with accomplishments and with atelic situations (states and activities). In various languages states cannot normally occur in the PROG; they occur only in the SIMPLE (NONPROG) form (“I know/*am knowing calculus”). Yet the SIMPLE PR form of a stative verb does not change the fact of its being a visualizing PR. Irrespective of the availability of a formal opposition to provide distinctive encoding for these two varieties of PR, their difference at the TEXTUAL level reveals itself whenever the PR is used to represent past experience: as the labels suggest, visualizing tenses (PR or P) are used for description, action tenses for the narration of events.
Definiteness and quantification (of the gram matical object) are similarly factors in the determination of situation types. Taking as examples predicates occurring in the texts in appendix 2,13 we observe that “to compose a song” (VI:89), with a singular object, is an accomplishment; with a plural object (“to compose many beautiful songs,” VI:64) this predicate becomes an activity. The causative predicate “to stop some cars” (II:25) is similarly an activity by virtue of its indefinite plural object; the singular version “to stop a car” (which does not occur in this text) would be an WORKING DEFINITIONS AND OPERATIONAL PRELIMINARIES 15 achievement.