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Edited by Pierre Goffic

Le « présent » , terme équivoque : temps vécu (étroit comme l'instant ou large comme l'actualité) et/ou paradigme linguistique (en français)... Pointer l'ambiguïté ne suffit pas à l'exorciser ! Et en quoi ou comment le second renvoie-t-il à la réalité du premier ? J.M. Fournier retrace les efforts des grammairiens du XVIIIème siècle: de la conception d'un présent linguistique lié à l'instant d'énonciation (chez Arnauld et Lancelot), à celle d'un présent marquant l'actualité étendue (chez Girard ou Harris), et à celle d'un présent indéfini et neutre, renvoyant par défaut à l'actualité, chez Beauzée. S. Mellet revendique l'héritage de Beauzée, en proposant une vision aspectuelle du présent construisant sa propre actualité par auto-repérage.
De même A. Jaubert, qui propose un présent éternellement perçu comme advenant et transportant avec lui son repère. Aux exemples littéraires de l'une et de l'autre répondent les extraits du Monde Diplomatique dans lesquels H. Chuquet relève la valeur à la fois aoristique et commentative des présents. P. Le Goffic et F. Lab tournent le présent vers l'avenir: le présent « pro futuro » de « Demain, je suis à Bruxelles » n'est temporel qu'à travers sa valeur modale de constat anticipé d'une réalité programmée. Enfin O. Soutet cherche, à la lumière des concepts guillaumiens, la place d'un présent subjonctif dans le système français. Impossible de lier ou de délier absolument présent linguistique et présent vécu ... Ce recueil se veut un jalon sur la route, encore longue sans doute, d'une élucidation de leurs rapports.

Geoffrey Khan

When a presentative particle is used to draw attention to a referent, it forms a complete clausal unit, e.g. hāḏā zaydun, ʾiḏā zaydun ‘here is Zayd’. The presentative function of the demonstrative particles should be distinguished from their more usual function of identifying a referent (‘this one

Presented Discourse in Popular Science

Professional Voices in Books for Lay Audiences


Olga Pilkington

In Presented Discourse in Popular Science, Olga A. Pilkington explores the forms and functions of the voices of scientists in books written for non-professionals. This study confirms the importance of considering presentation of discourse outside of literary fiction: popular science uses presented discourse in ways uncommon for fiction yet not conventional for non-fiction either.

This analysis is an acknowledgement of the social consequences of popularization. Discourse presentation of scientists reconstructs the world of the scientific community as a human space but also projects back into it an image of the scientist the public wants to see. At the same time, Pilkington’s findings strengthen the view of popularization that rejects the notion of a strict divide between professional and popular science.


Olga A. Pilkington

Introduction Until now, I have focused on presented discourse in one specific part of popular science books—narratives of discovery. The voices and thoughts of scientists, of course, could be found throughout the books. The reason for looking at narratives was to determine how presented discourse

Elliott Maloney

The ‘historical present’ describes the use of a present tense indicative form in a narrative where the aorist would be expected. The effect of its discontinuity with the other, preterite, verbs in the story usually marks out the main action of the event. The ‘historical present’ (hereafter HP) is


Norbert Schlüter


Temporal relations in English are expressed by both verbal patterns and non-verbal elements, such as temporal adverbials. Most grammatical descriptions referring to temporal adverbials in this function, however, are not derived from empirical investigations but from intuitive impressions. The aim of this paper is to present results of a corpus-based study on the temporal specification of the present perfect. The paper investigates the degree of temporally specified utterances with the present perfect and distinguishes the temporal adverbials according to their syntactic realisations. In the final part, the paper lists the 10 most frequent temporal adverbials co-occurring with the present perfect in British and American English and compares both lists to each other. The analysis presented here is part of a more comprehensive empirical study of the present perfect in British and American English and in ELT.


Christian Mair


Working styles in corpus-linguistic research are changing fast. One traditional constellation, close(d) communities of researchers forming around a specific corpus or set of corpora (the “Brown / LOB community”, “the BNC community”), is becoming increasingly problematical – particularly in the study of ongoing linguistic change and recent and current usage. The present contribution argues that whenever the possibilities of closed corpora are exhausted, it is advisable to turn to the digitised texts which – at least for a language such as English – are supplied in practically unlimited quantity on the world wide web. Web material is most suitable for studies for which large quantities of text and/or very recent texts are required. Specialised chat-rooms and discussion forums may additionally provide an unexpected wealth of material on highly specific registers or varieties not previously documented in corpora to a sufficient extent. On the basis of selected study examples it will be shown that, contrary to widespread scepticism in the field, web texts are appropriate data for variationist studies of medium degrees of delicacy – provided that a few cautionary procedures are followed in the interpretation of the results.

Georgios K. Giannakis

The formation of the present stem in Ancient Greek follows to a large extent the formative patterns of the parent language of Indo-European, i.e.,  ablaut of radical vowel, affixation (suffixation or infixation), reduplication, and suppletion. These different processes may not be historically

Eran Cohen

Presentatives Presentative constructions and their various functions arguably justify setting up a cross-linguistic category which is to be found in quite a few languages, including the Semitic languages. A rather well-investigated example is found in the various presentative constructions in


Turo Hiltunen and Jukka Tyrkkö


The discursive representation of knowledge, the fundamental objective of scientific inquiry, reflects underlying epistemic conditions of scientific thought (Bates 1995). Knowledge is communicated in scientific writing by means of lexical choice, discourse conventions and the organization of information. Over the long history of vernacular medicine, the writers of each era – from scholasticism and empiricism to evidence based medicine – have had their own perspectives on knowledge, revealed by the discursive practices they employed. Lexical items referring to the concept of knowledge (e.g. knowledge, information, doctrine) are investigated from the late Middle English period to Present-day English. We analyze variation and change in the lexicon of knowledge and analyze the discursive contexts in which the terms appear, showing how these have changed over time in different subgenres within learned medicine. The study makes use of several medical corpora with a total word count of roughly one million words: the MEMT is used for the Middle English period, and a selection of texts from the EMEMT corpus (articles from the Philosophical Transactions and other contemporary medical texts) represent the Early Modern English period. For the PDE period, we use a selection of research articles from academic journals and texts from the Medicor.