The Verb <i>to be</i> in the <i>West Saxon Gospels</i> and the <i>Lindisfarne Gospels</i>

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This paper examines the distribution and use of the twofold present tense paradigms of the Old English verb <i>b&#275;on </i>&#8216;to be&#8217; in the late <i>West Saxon Gospels</i> (WSG) and the Northumbrian gloss to the <i>Lindisfarne Gospels </i>(LiGl). The analysis confirms the frequently claimed semantic distinction of the paradigms. It furthermore shows that the choice of a form of OE <i>b&#275;on</i> mostly depended on the tense and mood of its Latin equivalent, but it also illustrates that the translators of the two Gospel versions took the context into account. Quantitative differences of the forms in the two manuscripts are due to multiple glosses in <i>Lindisfarne</i>, the use of alternative forms to OE <i>b&#275;on</i> in the <i>West Saxon Gospels</i> and the partly different morphology of the verb in Northumbrian.


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