International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online)

The “Topic Time” in the Narrations of Chinese Learners of French Foreign Language: Extended or Not?
Xingzi ZHANG

Abstract
This article aims to analyze the topic time (Klein, 1994) expressed by Chinese learners of French foreign language in narrations. Chinese and French belong to two different temporal-aspectual systems. Sun (2008) considers that Chinese learners of French conceptualize extended topic time with the influence of their mother language, in which the temporal mark is very flexible. In French, Chinese learners will also have an extended conception of topic time, so that they reorganize events by using simultaneous order. In this paper, the extended topic time is only found when the situation is 2-phase with the « DANG…DE SHIHOU » structure, and that is because of the characteristic of distinguish phase in Chinese. Other types of reorganization of temporal relations in Sun (2008)’s research are not confirmed in our paper.

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