Could you point me to a reference that would explain and describe the evolution of the use of le passé simple? I understand it's mostly used for literature but I can't find an article that describes it's origin. Does it stem (no pun intended) from French's latin roots, Langue d'oil, Germanic influences? Thanks!
The passé simple is common in Romance languages, which generally are more varied in the use of tenses compared to Germanic languages. In France, the passé simple slowly wilted and by now has virtually disappeared from the spoken word. This is in contrast to, e.g., Spanish or Italian.
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