К.филол.н . Дзюбенко А.И.
Южный федеральный университет, г. Ростов-на-Дону, Российская Федерация
TIME AND TENSE MODELLING OF MODERN ENGLISH FEMALE FICTION
The female fiction created by the women authors has always been remarkable for the elaborately worked out systems of the images (of protagonists' in particular), of the composition and plot lines, not to speak about its intricately developed and refined style. But what deserves some more profound study in present is the way the modern female fiction discourse transforms the traditional understanding of time modelling or mapping of the objective reality. The paradigm of time being the basis for the plot design undergoes some substantial changes.
The correlation of time and grammatical tense concepts in the discourse determines the set of linguistic means applied by the author. The concept of time is vital for the differentiation of the texts narrated in the first and third person singular. The whole discourse done in the first person singular is focused on the 'time experience or background' of the narrator. His time and space position is predetermined by the time-space system of the text in general [1, р . 13]. The linguistic proof of it is the functioning of the present, past and future tense forms in the discourses narrated in the first person singular. This is not the case with the third person singular narration: the events are described and are given account of as the ones that used to happen, thus, in such a narration past forms predominate.
Nowadays scholars suppose that it is possible to distinguish several types of time as the basic concept that organises the fictional structure of the discourse. According to them, the time concept realised in the fictional discourse is made up by three basic components, that are (a) objective time, (b) fictional time and (c) perceptual or emotional time. The real time concept belongs to the sphere of objective reality, perceptual one- to the sphere of the individual's perception and transforming of the objective reality. Thus, the basis of the real time is the existing reality, the ground for the perceptual time might be emotions [1, р . 17]. It is suggested to determine the fictional time as the special form of the world's cognition, the phenomenon that combines in itself the features of the objective, perceptual and individual time.
The fictional and perceptual types of time concept deserve some more detailed investigation when we have the objective of deciphering how strong the correlation of the components making up the general notion of time is. Our study in terms and approaches given above showed that the female story teller (in the third person singular narration) and the female protagonist herself (in the first person narration) pay much attention to the emotional life of theirs, but it is done within some sensible limits and social norms. The life of female protagonists in the fictional discourses of present is highly affective and is given mostly in the first person narration (for example, S. Kinsella's "Shopaholic" series, C. Ahern's "If You Could See Me Now", E. Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love"). However, there are texts narrated in the female third person singular, that are of great interest in terms of time description and grammar tense forms.
The application of the idea suggested by prof . Z.Y. Turaeva about fictional time and its correlation with the grammar verb tense forms found in the fictional discourse resulted in our coming to the conclusion that the texts marked by substantial emotional impulse and narrated in the first person singular have 26% of past forms, 42% of present forms and 32% of future tense forms. Meanwhile, the ones narrated in the third person singular fall into different groups. For instance, the proportion of the past verb forms is 51%, the present 28% and, finally, future forms are 21%. The estimation was done regardless the form of speech (narration, dialogue, non-represented speech) with the application of continuous sampling method for the same number of fictional discourses having approximately the same wordage (C. Alliott , S. Kinsella , K. Swan).
This difference in the tense structuring of the English fiction discourse makes the idea of emotional stratification of the text more prominent. Thus, the ones done in the first person singular are focused on the affective present of the protagonists, they get the psychological support and strength to live in their present, in their routine that is transformed by them into some kind of source for the so called emotional charging ( C. Ahern "A Married Man).
What concerns the texts in the third person singular, we came to the conclusion that in them the female lives here past life full of either misfortunes and tragedies or happiness over and over again, she is more concentrated on what she used to feel than on what she has in her affective sphere now. Her perceptual time is made of retrospective that draws the recollections and thoughts about past into her present and future. This complicates the style, composition and plot lines of the discourse a lot: "She looked out through wet eyes at the famous skyscrapers closing around her, the big sky folding down into smaller parcels of blue as the plane prepared to land. She might as well be landing on the moon as in Manhattan , and she felt a cold chill of panic surf through her as reality bit. Cassie had left her husband and her home, her past and her future. Her life was in Kelly's beautifully manicured hands now. She could only hope her friend had more idea of what to do with it that she had [2, р . 27].
As we can see in the modern female English discourse the fictional time makes the grammar tense dependent on itself, thanks to its perceptual component the emotive modelling of the events described by the female protagonists and narrators becomes multidimensional and prominent.
The list of references :
1. Тураева З.Я. Категория времени: время грамматическое и время художественное (на материале английского языка) / З.Я. Тураева. – М., 2009. – 216 с.
2. Swan K. Christmas at Tiffany's / K. Swan. – London : PanBooks , 2011. – 582 p.