Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Brief History of the Verb To Be - MIT Press Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

A Brief History of the Verb To Be

Andrea Moro


Beginning with the early works of Aristotle, the interpretation of the verb to be runs through Western linguistic thought like Ariadne's thread. As it unravels, it becomes intertwined with philosophy, metaphysics, logic, and even with mathematics—so much so that Bertrand Russell showed no hesitation in proclaiming that the verb to be was a disgrace to the human race. With the conviction that this verb penetrates modern linguistic thinking, creating scandal in its wake and, like a Trojan horse of linguistics, introducing disruptive elements that lead us to rethink radically the most basic struc ... More

Keywords: verbs, linguistics, linguistic thinking, to be, human language, sentence, neuroscience, language evolution, human mind

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780262037129
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262037129.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Andrea Moro, author
Institute for Advanced Study