First published in 1991, this book looks at tense in English, one of the most controversial areas of grammar. Prior to the book’s original publication, the problems and interest in the subject led to an impressive number of books and articles. Yet, despite the amount of work produced, nothing approaching a consensus had emerged, merely a series of conflicting theories and analyses. Here, Renaat Declerck provides a framework for a theoretical instrument which will enable the linguist to interpret the data correctly.
The book is primarily theoretical in nature, but offers descriptive theory and a discussion of the various tenses which will make it a valuable tool for those teaching English. Theoretical and applied linguists will find this an important contribution to the debate on tense and a worthy starting point for future research. The book is not written from the viewpoint of any particular linguistic theory and does not presuppose any knowledge of tense theory, it is a readable and reliable guide to the area.
Preface; List of Abbreviations 1. Introduction 2. Tense in discourse 1: general principles 3. Tense in discourse 2: restrictions and possibilities 4. Tense in discourse 3: two test cases 5. The structure of tense 1: previous analyses 6. The structure of tense 2: general principles 7. The structure of tense 3: analysing the tense 8. Conclusion