Edited By Małgorzata Fabiszak, Karolina Krawczak and Katarzyna Rokoszewska
Perceptual Structures and Grammatical Constructions on the Basis of Aspectual Opposition in French
The present article discusses the problem of perception structures, which determine the choice of tenses in French. French is one of those languages in which the aspect is expressed in the form of the tense. The relation between tense and aspect with regard to perception is discussed here in the context of Cognitive Linguistics. The aim of the article is to address the following hypotheses: 1) Perception influences conceptualization and the construction of an utterance, that is, the choice of its grammatical and lexical elements. 2) Perception, as a universal phenomenon, depends upon the culture and linguistic tradition of the users of a given language. 3) The functioning of grammatical categories, as for example French verb tenses, is the effect of conceptualization.
One of the principal assumptions in Cognitive Linguistics concerns the relation between the way in which we experience the world and the way in which we speak about it. That is, at the basis of conceptualization lies perception, and language is one of the resources that contribute to the processing of data, which is evident in the choice of grammatical constructions and the selection of lexical items from the language in which communication is taking place.
In Indo-European languages, sentence structure is based upon the verb, inasmuch as its semantic and syntactic properties determine the type and the saturation of argument positions being argued, and its morphology conveys information about the tense and aspect of the situation as...
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