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A Brief History of the Verb To Be$
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Andrea Moro

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037129

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037129.001.0001

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To Be—and Not “Being”—or, The Names of the Verb

To Be—and Not “Being”—or, The Names of the Verb

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 To Be—and Not “Being”—or, The Names of the Verb
Source:
A Brief History of the Verb To Be
Author(s):

Andrea Moro

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262037129.003.0001

This chapter takes a brief look at the most important schools of thought over the centuries about the verb to be. Sifting through Western linguistic tradition, it is possible to find at least three schools of thought that regarded the verb to be, so to speak, as the name of three different concepts closely dependent upon the manner in which their contemporary linguistics interpreted the nature of language in general: as the name of tense, as the name of affirmation, and as the name of identity. Understanding how the verb to be has been described in language also means understanding what the general perspective is from which the latter is viewed—a unique opportunity.

Keywords:   verbs, to be, linguistics, tense, affirmation, identity, language

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