THEORY: etymology of English habitual "be"
|From:||Joe Mondello <rugpretzel@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, July 11, 2000, 7:55|
A while back there was a discussion on this list about the present tense
habitual use of the word "be" in English dialects both in England (Penzance,
IIRC?) and America (AAVE). I was given a set of books and tapes on learning
Irish Gaeilge yesterday and I was reminded of this thread when I read that
the Irish verb bí has both a present and "present habitual" tense, and that
the conjugation of the habitual "tense" is "bí". Is it possible that the
existence of "be" in all persons as a present habitual in some English
dialects is a result of borrowing from Gaeilge or other Celtic languages? is
there any corresponding form in other Germanic languages?
slán go fóill,