Thierry Ponchon
Universityof Reims Champagne-Ardenne, France


The ability to use verbal modes and tenses in spoken French differently from standard French is undeniably a phenomenon that is part of social usage, especially among young people. Indeed, faced with a great variety and complexity of modes and tenses in written French, the speaker will tend to use in his speech only grammatical forms strictly necessary for immediate communication. This article is based on a survey carried out over a period from 2005 to 2010, put into understanding with another independent oral corpus, in order to better underline the contrasts. The resulting cross-analysis shows not only the evolution of the language as a
sociolect, but also the ability of some speakers to adapt their speech to the minimalist need for interlocution. First, it focuses on the opposition between the modal-temporal organization of written French and of contemporary spoken language. In a second step, it characterizes in this
field the differentiation of use in “standard” oral French and in “spontaneous” oral French, to end up delineating the modo-temporal architectonics of the latter. By highlighting the fact that the variations and the trends identified are a social trait and are part of the vitality of the language, thus, this study contributes to a more precise defi nition of “spontaneous” oral French as a social language and is intended to be an illustration of the contemporary sociopragmatic use of the French language.

Keywords: written French, oral French, verbal mode, verbal tenses, socio-pragmatic

For citation: Ponchon Thierry. Modo-temporal micro-systems in contemporary oral French. Sociolinguistics, 2020, no. 4(4) [online], pp. 130–151. (In Engl.) DOI:10.37892/2713-2951-2020-4-4-130-151