‘Middle French Narrative Tenses: Revisited Once Again’
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Since its publication, the analysis of Martin (1971, Temps et aspect: Essai sur l’emploi des temps narratifs en moyen franςais. Paris: Klincksieck) has been the standard reference with regard to tense and aspect distribution and use in Middle French prose. This article seeks to call into question that analysis, particularly with regard to the use of the Passé Composé, principally functioning as a present perfect in Old French. Largely due to the more nuanced analytical framework exploited, this author does not observe a resurgence of the Passé Composé in the centrally narrative components of the chronicles used in this study, a central characterization of Middle French prose put forth by Martin. Based upon the demonstrable need for a new analysis of prose narrative from this period, the author also questions the validity and generality of Martin’s claims with regard to the function that the Passé Composé is assuming in Middle French prose narrative.
KeywordsAnalytical Framework Comparative Literature Historical Linguistic Prose Aspect Distribution
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