The past tense system in the Rome manuscript of Froissart's chronicles
The principal objective of this thesis is the identification of the factors involved in determining the reference of certain narrative tense forms of the Rome Manuscript of Froissart's Chronicles (Reg. lat. 869). No detailed theoretical framework concerning notional tense systems is postulated, since it is felt that the most appropriate method of research in relation to the objective proposed is the analysis of observable data. It is argued that the reference of the tense forms is derived from syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations in the verbal syntagm and in the wider context of the sentence, and the total corpus. The tense forms investigated are the passe simple (PS), imparfait (IMP), passe compose (PC), plus-que-parfait (PQP), passe anterieur (PA).Following an investigation of the immediate constituents of the verbal syntagm, that is the verbal lexeme and morpheme, their reference and interaction, the principal values and functions of the tense forms of Middle French are defined. The central part of the research consists of exhaustive analysis of adverbialtense and conjunction-tense co-occurrences in terms of the temporal categories frequency, duration, specific time, sequence, and order relations. This is followed by a detailed study of the tense forms in direct speech, interventions by Froissart, and the narrative proper. Analysis reveals a marked tendency towards referential reinforcement in thelexeme and morpheme, the PS being most frequently combined with perfective lexemes, and the IMP with imperfective lexemes. Adverbials and conjunctions also show a predilection for co-occurrence with lexeme and morpheme having reference compatible with their own. A distinction is consistently observed between the PS and IMP in terms of aspectual reference and narrative function. Similarly, the PS and PC are distinguished in function. In direct speech, for example, the tense forms are differentiated according to the expression or implication of current relevance of an event. The PA and the PQP are also differentiated, the former expressing completion, and occurring principally in dependent temporal clauses, the latter, of much greater frequency, expressing anteriority of occurrence, and used little in temporal clauses. The tense forms have inherited the principal values of their counterparts in Classical Latin. Influenced by contextual factors, they evince great functional flexibility.