Edited By Emmanuelle Labeau and Jacques Bres
Jacques BRES & Emmanuelle LABEAU About the illustrative use of the aller + infinitive periphrasis in French 171
About the illustrative use of the aller + infinitive periphrasis in French Jacques BRES, Praxiling, UMR 5267 CNRS-Montpellier III & Emmanuelle LABEAU, Aston University 1. Introduction Typological studies (Hagège 1993, Bybee et al. 1994, Dahl 2000, Bourdin 2008 among many others) have shown a tendency for spatial elements (such as movement verbs) to grammaticalize into temporal expressions. The case of aller + infinitive in French is a typical success story with the periphrasis being awarded the status of a future tense in many contempo- rary descriptions. Yet, the future value is far from exhausting the discursive uses of aller. Indeed, we have identified (Bres & Labeau 2012) a number of values for that periphrasis: (a) Ulterior: (1) Le train va / allait partir. The train go-PRES-3S / go-PAST-IMPERF-3S to leave. [The train is / was about to leave.]1 (b) Narrative: (2) Son tiers-mondisme va évoluer vers l’islam. Lors d’un voyage en Iran, il va se convertir et devenir un ‘intellectuel musulman’. (corpus nécrologie, Labeau 2009) His support to the Third World go- PRES-3S to evolve towards Islam. During a trip in Iran, he go- PRES-3S to convert and to become a ‘Muslim intellectual’. [His support to the third world evolved towards Islam. During a trip in Iran, he converted and set about to become a ‘Muslim intellectual’.] 1 All glosses and translations are ours. 172 Jacques Bres & Emmanuelle Labeau (c) Extraordinary: (3) … et cet imbécile il est allé se rappeler ce que je lui avais promis…. (conversation) … and...
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