Oral Narration in Modern French
A Linguistic Analysis of Temporal Patterns

Janice Carruthers

Research Monographs in French Studies 19

Legenda

13 September 2005  •  156pp

ISBN: 1-904713-11-4 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-351195-55-3 (Taylor & Francis ebook)

ContemporaryFrenchLinguistics


Storytelling is a universal human activity and oral narration - particularly modern 'conversational' narration such as anecdotes or personal stories - has long been fertile ground for linguists working on tense usage across a variety of languages. This book introduces 'performed' oral storytelling into the debate, using data from traditional and contemporary storytellers in French to explore the narrative tenses attested, the discourse-pragmatic effects of tense switching, the structures deployed at points of temporal sequence, as well as broader questions concerning the nature of oral discourse.

Janice Carruthers is Senior Lecturer in French at Queen's University, Belfast.

Reviews:

  • ‘The strength of the book is in showing how much more complex Tense-Switching is in oral narratives than could have been expected, and – even more importantly – the need to use all kinds of tools... It also encourages a new broader look at a whole range of different kinds of discourse with an oral dimension. And from the reader’s point of view it includes, en passant, a wonderfully clear exposition of areas that s/he may have not looked at closely, given the tendency to concentrate on one approach only. Namely, Moeschler’s summary of the theoretical approaches to temporal sequencing (in convenient diagram form), different approaches to tenses on the narrative line (Weinrich, Benveniste, Waugh, Vetters, Revasz, myself, and others), Smith’s Narrative mode and Report Mode, Leech and Short’s continuum of discourse forms (another useful diagram), Fleisshman’s table of markedness oppositions for the past and present tenses in ordinary language (adapted), and, Borillo’s classification of subordinators... Altogether a’ — Anne Judge, Journal of French Language Studies 19.3, 2009, 414-416
  • ‘Carruthers’ book is a genuinely original contribution to the field that puts the performed story on the map as a new genre for linguistic study and also improves our understanding of tense usage and temporal patterning in French.’ — Mairi McLaughlin, French Studies 64.1, 2010, 126-127

Bibliography entry:

Carruthers, Janice, Oral Narration in Modern French: A Linguistic Analysis of Temporal Patterns, Research Monographs in French Studies, 19 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2005)

First footnote reference: 35 Janice Carruthers, Oral Narration in Modern French: A Linguistic Analysis of Temporal Patterns, Research Monographs in French Studies, 19 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2005), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Carruthers, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Carruthers, Janice. 2005. Oral Narration in Modern French: A Linguistic Analysis of Temporal Patterns, Research Monographs in French Studies, 19 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Carruthers 2005: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Carruthers 2005: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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