Corre (2022)

De Arbres

 "The tense-aspect system of Breton, a continental Celtic language, is largely under-described. This paper has two main goals. First, it gives an overview of the numerous verbal morphosyntactic constructions of Breton, with the aim of evaluating how they carve up the tense-aspect domain. The second goal is to zero in on one particular set of constructions, namely, perfect-like constructions. In particular, it investigates the use of the present perfect in narrative and oral discourse, compared to two other competing constructions, the simple past and the past perfect. In the spirit of de Swart and Le Bruyn's Time in Translation project, we adopt a parallel corpus-based approach from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and its Breton translation. We develop an account of the distinction between these temporal forms, in particular the present and past perfects, drawing on the interaction between rhetorical relations and temporal structure. Results show that in written narrative stretches, the simple past is the norm; however, in dialogues, the present perfect is required in cases of ‘weak' narration, and if the past situation is somehow felt to be currently relevant, even if the situation refers to an explicit past time. However, the past perfect occurs in narrative stretches within the dialogue, in cases of ‘strong' narration, especially if the situation described is anaphorically tied to a temporal antecedent."