par Delbart, Anne-Rosine ;Wilmet, Marc
Référence Langages, 191, 3, page (37-52)
Publication Publié, 2013
Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Is the "sequence of tenses" in French anything but a mere reminescence of Latin grammar? According to Brunot (1922), the whole chapter could be reduced to one sentence : "There is none". Yet grammarians of French, whether native or non-native, keep devoting substantial developments to the issue. This paper seeks to show that the discussion has been hindered by several problems: 1) metalanguage, 2) conception of moods, 3) temporality of the subjunctive, 4) reported speech. After enumerating the different potential combinations, the authors conclude that there are no temporal constraints from the verb of the main clause acting upon the subordinate verb, but they nevertheless highlight two circumstances where the former verb entails in the latter a behaviour different from that which would appear in simple sentences.