The case of the invisible postman

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Three somewhat conflicting semantic theories of the <i>Futur Simple</i> (FS) in spoken European French are discussed here: Fleischman&#8217;s (1982) &#8220;diachronic model&#8221;, which portrays the current semantics of the FS as largely modal; Schrott&#8217;s (1997) &#8220;conditioning&#8221; model, which views both the FS and <i>Futur Compos&#233;</i> as temporal and modal exponents selected in terms of context of use; Sokol&#8217;s (1999) &#8220;aspectual model&#8221; which sees the FS not as a tense but as a perfective aspect marker interacting with different verb action-classes. Evidence from empirical work relating to these theories does not support the modal view of the FS, and raises some questions for the aspectual model. Robust support emerges, however, for the FS as a future tense.


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