Article
Diacronia 7, April 27, 2018, A99 (1–11)doi:10.17684/i7A99en

The diachronic evolution of future tense forms in French from the perspective of the re-grammaticalization theory

Cecilia-Mihaela Popescu

Affiliations

Faculty of Letters, University of Craiova, Str. Alexandru Ioan Cuza 13, 200585 Craiova, Romania

History

Received January 26, 2018
Accepted February 13, 2018
Published April 27, 2018

Key words

grammaticalization
re-grammaticalization
synthetic future
form in –rai
periphrastic prospective structures
probable epistemic

Abstract

Deriving from a comprehensive postdoctoral study, this article aims at presenting the evolution of future tense forms in French from the perspective of the re-grammaticalization process, understood as re-organisation of the grammatical system of a language (v. Andersen, 2006; Lindschouw, 2011). In very general lines, this process may be described as follows: in time, canonical future forms, originally representing outcomes of previous ‘grammaticalization’ processes (i.e. transition from lexical to gramatical), eventually show a poly-functional morpho-syntactic and semantic behaviour, actualising more than one grammatical value. Such a situation will imply the selection of new constituents in the canonical future paradigm and will inevitably result in: (i) a competition between canonical forms and the newly created ones; (ii) a de-semantization and specialization of canonical forms in a certain informational segment, and (iii) the (total or partial) grammaticalization of the concurrent periphrastic forms. We shall thus see that the synthetic future form in French underwent a semantic-functional reduction in terms of actualisation of temporal [prospective], which is mostly due to the “intervention” and grammaticalization of the itive periphrasis aller + infinitive on the same conceptual area; in current spoken language, this periphrasis has become the most frequent form to express [future]. An even stronger reduction in the number of occurrences is seen in terms of purely modal uses, in spoken language, as native speakers again prefer a periphrastic structure, i.e. devoirepistemic + infinitive.

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    Text:Popescu, C. (2018). The diachronic evolution of future tense forms in French from the perspective of the re-grammaticalization theory, Diacronia 7 (April 27), A99 (1–11), http://dx.doi.org/10.17684/i7A99en
    BibTeX:@ARTICLE{popescu2018,
     author = {Cecilia-Mihaela Popescu},
     title = {The diachronic evolution of future tense forms in French from the perspective of the re-grammaticalization theory},
     journal = {Diacronia},
     ISSN = {2393-1140},
     year = {2018},
     month = {April},
     number = {7},
     eid = {A99},
     doi = {10.17684/i7A99en},
     pages = "(1–11)",
     url = {http://www.diacronia.ro/journal/issue/7/A99/en}
    }

Copyright

© 2018 The Authors. Publishing rights belong to the Journal. The article is freely accessible under the terms and conditions of the CC-BY Open Access licence.

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