Stylistic Use of the Grammatical Tense Category in the Middle English Prose

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Abstract

The paper proposes some observation experience over exploring stylistic resources of the verbal category of tense in the texts of English belles-lettres presented by its prosaic segment dated by High Middle Ages period. Acquiring by the prosaic form of the belles-lettres text the independent status is the important step in the History of European Literature which chronologically coincides with the period of transferring from Middle Ages to Renaissance. After passing the formation period there appeared verbal coverings of one and the same contents different in stylistic, lexical and grammatical characteristics as well as the use of the national language. In consequence of the consciousness secularization, works of literature characterized by practical appropriation of reality, take some practical orientation. This, in turn, causes some necessity in new ways to describe «tactile materiality of consciousness». The category of tense is chosen as the investigation object by virtue of its dependence on proper to textual structures’ contents and compositional features. The work of literature text continuum is considered as distributed into chronological plans reflected in the verbal tense forms. The period of transferring from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, the period of translation, supposes establishing evaluative correspondences in the stylistic orientative activity with some etalon presented by the antique rhetorical tradition. Style generating processes in the textual space of English literature, facultative when compared with French belles-lettres, are marked by putting on th etalon position the French rhetorical tradition as well. The most eminent instances of the tradition can be found in the romance genre as one of the most representative in the European literary genre system. The English genre variant is used as illustrative material for the analysis procedure done.

About the authors

Yuliya P. Vyshenskaya

Herzen State Pedagogical University

Author for correspondence.
Email: clemence_isaure@rambler.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2870-3026

Ph.D, Assosiate Professor of the Department of English Language and British Studies

48, block 14, the Moika Embankment, St.-Petersburg, Russian Federation, 191186

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