Future tense and narrativity


Abstract

This paper investigates the use of future tense in Latvian and Lithuanian in narratives that are located in the past. The data come from corpora of the contemporary languages as well as from folktales documented at the end of the th century. While the future is rarely used to tell a story, it does appear in certain
functions in clauses that meet all or a part of the criteria for narrative clauses. We distinguish three groups of uses, with increasing degrees of narrativity: (a) imagined and evoked scenarios, including evoking habitual actions in the past; (b) a cluster of meanings around intention, imminence, and inception; (c) functions of text organization and grounding. Purely textual functions are only found in the folktales. Furthermore, switches to future tense in Baltic folktales show similar characteristics as switches from past to present tense in Romance languages.

Keywords

future tense, narrative, narrative clause, Baltic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Latgalian

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Published : 2022-01-03


Nau, N., & Spraunienė, B. (2022). Future tense and narrativity. Baltic Linguistics, 12(1), 209-247. https://doi.org/10.32798/bl.924

Nicole Nau 
Vilnius University & Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań  Poland
Birutė Spraunienė 
Vilnius University  Lithuania