108

NUCLEAR SEMANTICS

CHRONOGENESIS AND THE VERB

109

Guillaumc employs yet another qualitative temporal distinction. He calls 'descending lime', that which we objectively experience if we assume that time comes down from future, passes through the present and goes down into the past; whereas, it is 'ascending time' when time is subjectively experienced as 'going up, from the past of the already experienced, through the present, and on to the to-bc-cxpcrienccd. The descending and the ascending times arc also called the chronotypc a and the chronotypc oo respectively. With the aid of the two chronotypcs, Guillaumc analyses the present as: i C Chronotypc a
H R O N O G E N E
S

With the same analytical apparatus, Guillaume can represent the aspects also. Thus, the difference between the imparfait' and the lpass*e" simple' is indicated as: incidence decadence
to

incidence

'imparfait': Pierre marchait

'passe" simple': Pierre marcha

LEVEL OF INCIDENCE

Chronotypc
to

LEVEL OF DECADENCE

I
S

Thus the present tense can be viewed from the perspective of time that is coming down (awards us from future, chronotypc a, as well as from the perspective of time going away from us into the past, the chronolypc co. This gives Guillaumc's 'present' a dynamic and a systematically defined ambiguous character, analysed both in terms of the perceivable objectivity of temporality, as well as the non-perceivable experience of the subjective time. Further, the chronothcsis of the indicative mode which involves the epochs, past, present and future can be reconstituted as: incidence / decadence
a
0)

The above figures help to show that while ihe passe" simple contains only the sense of 'accomplishment', the imparfail implies that the act may be still occurring. F.Nef (1986) has correctly pointed out that what we observe in the Guillaumian system of temporality, is not a 'direct mapping* of the mental operations underlying the production of linguistic temporality, but an intermediate level of classification of the properties of linguistic time. Time is not viewed as a dimension of conscious reference, but as a necessary parameter of all linguistic practice. "In the same manner as the speakers use the rules of grammar without being conscious of it, they refer constantly to an object, i.e., time, without being conscious of jts properties" (F. Ncf, 1986: 54). Language seen in its inevitable phenomcnality, has time as its most inherent aspect. Guillaume's deep insight into the structure of language phenomenon has yielded a system of linguistics that is entirely rooted in a particular conception of lime. It is a linguistics where semantics and syntax cannot be distinguished; semantics is rather equated with certain mental mechanisms which lets unfold the grammatical system of a language in the dimension of time.

incidence \ decadence

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