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Re: 'Habitual be' (was: Genitive relationships (WAS: Construct States))

From:Fabian <rhialto@...>
Date:Thursday, March 11, 1999, 23:06
>Tolkien noted this in Old English. Certainly form like 'I be..." existed >beside "I am...' in Brit. dialects both as indicative forms ('I be' is >still occasionally used as a subjunctive in standard English) until the >early part of this century. The "I be...." forms are quoted as 'rustic >peculiarities' - but I wonder if the rustics were not, in fact, using the >two forms differently.
This reminds me of a recent trip to Exeter. The train announcement went thusly: "The train now on platform four BE going to penzance." Perhaps the announcer was making use of a little known subjunctive to state that he didn't really think the train would actually arrive? [note for non Brits: our so-called train service is notoriously unreliable, and dividing it up into several cartels seems to have made it worse] --- Fabian honjitsu watashi wa genki desu ashita kami ga kimeru