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Tense and Aspect in Caesar's Narrative
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Languages, Department of Classical Philology.
2001 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This is a study of the function of tense, aspect, and Aktionsart/situation type in Caesar's historiographical narrative (Bellum Gallicum and Bellum civile). The extensive theoretical part discusses these semantic categories from a cross-linguistic perspective and analyzes their functions in Classical Latin. The aspectually marked meanings that may arise from the contrast between the choice of aspect and the phasal character of situations are systematically delineated.

A comparative study of the tense usage of Caesar, Livy, Velleius Paterculus, Florus, and Eutropius reveals great differences in narrative technique. The use of imperfective aspect and the stylistic variation between the narrative perfect and the present of narration is much greater in Caesar's texts of slower narrative pace than the more briskly paced epitomistic narratives where the narrative perfect totally predominates. The characteristic features of Caesar's narrative are brought out against this background. Apart from a general discussion of the distribution of finite and non-finite forms as well as of main and subordinate clauses, analyses are made of Caesar's use of the present of narration, the infinitive of narration and the narrative and present perfect.

Caesar's texts are also examined from a narratological perspective. Information type is introduced as a term for different semantic groups expressed by verb phrases. By classifying the content of Caesar's narrative into twelve information types, clear connections can be seen between information types and the choice of forms. Moreover, iconicity, seriality and grounding in narratives are discussed with reference to Caesar's texts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2001. , 544 p.
Studia Latina Upsaliensia, ISSN 0562-2859 ; 26
Keyword [en]
Classical philology - general, aspect, Aktionsart, situation type, tense, Classical Latin, historiographical narrative, epitomistic narrative, foreground and background, seriality, iconicity, information type, Caesar, Livy, Velleius Paterculus, Florus, Eutropius
Keyword [sv]
Klassiska språk - allmänt
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-1436ISBN: 91-554-5076-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-1436DiVA: diva2:160967
Public defence
2001-09-29, Ihresalen, SVC, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2001-10-15 Created: 2001-10-15Bibliographically approved

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