L'unité de l'imparfait: vues théoriques et perspectives pour les apprenants du français, langue étrangère

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Given the diversity of uses of the French imparfait, there is no unanimity about the nature – or even the existence – of a semantic invariant that may characterize it. The present article aims on the one hand at recapitulating the attempted temporal, aspectual and discursive descriptions of the imparfait found in contemporary research. A personal description of that tense based on the concepts of time, aspect and Aktionsart is then proposed ; it is thought such description may account for that tense multiplicity of uses. On the other hand, because of the necessity of a dialogue between theoretical and applied linguistics, this article will also consider the potential contribution of the suggested invariant to the teaching of French as a foreign language.


Translated title of the contributionThe unit imperfect: theoretical views and perspectives for learners of French as a foreign language
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)157-184
Number of pages28
JournalTravaux de Linguistique
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • pedagogy, aktionsart, semantic invariant, semantic interpretation, grammatical aspect, tense, imperfect, language teaching, pragmatics, semantics, pédagogie, mode d'action, français langue étrangère, invariant sémantique, interprétation sémantique, ispect grammatical, temps grammatical, imparfait, enseignement des langues, pragmatique, Sémantique

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