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ERIC Number: EJ946131
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2133
The Conversational Historical Present in Oral Spanish Narratives
Bonilla, Carrie L.
Hispania, v94 n3 p429-442 Sep 2011
This article contributes to the literature on the use of the present tense to refer to past events in oral narratives, otherwise known as the Conversational Historical Present (CHP) (Wolfson 1978). Previous research has found that the CHP switches with the past (Wolfson 1979) frequently with verbs of saying and achievement verbs (Dunn 1998; Van Ess-Dykema 1984). The present study provides new insights on the CHP in Spanish in conversational narratives and story-retell narratives. Specifically, the CHP was found to occur mostly with "decir," verbs of motion (e.g., "llegar") or other verbs of saying (e.g., "preguntar") in both narratives. In the conversational narratives, when a storyteller responded to an interruption by an interlocutor of the story, the storyteller subsequently resumed the narrative with the preterit. When a storyteller did not acknowledge an interlocutor's interruption, the narrative typically continued in the CHP. The story-retell narratives were told almost exclusively in the CHP. The interaction between the storyteller and interlocutor may explain why the CHP and the preterit always switch in conversational narratives, but the CHP exclusively occurs in story-retell tasks where the speaker has an uninterrupted turn. (Contains 5 tables and 6 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A