Tense and Aspect: The contextual processing of semantic indeterminacy
  • ISSN 0774-5141
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9676
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Abstract. The French Passé Composé (PC) has long been a source of interest to scholars, in particular in relation to the Passé Simple, which it is seen to have replaced to some extent. The English Present Perfect (PP) has also aroused much interest for its wide range of functions, and apparent emerging use in Simple Past contexts. The aim of the present paper is to examine the PC and PP in a comparative manner. The focus will be on the use of PP and PC in a particular narrative context: faits divers (and other short articles) in French newspapers, and its closest equivalent in the British press: news in brief. Finally, we consider how far the PP has moved along the path trodden by the PC, i.e. to what extent perfect forms can express past events.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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