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Rivalry among the verbs of wanting

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Abstract

This paper discusses rivalry amongst the verbs of wanting, e.g., <i>desire</i>, <i>hope</i>, <i>want </i>and <i>wish</i>. Investigation of these verbs from Middle English to present-day English based on various corpora shows that the functional and semantic expansion and reduction of these verbs during these periods have caused reshuffling among these verbs leading to the establishment of a new system of the verbs of wanting. The verb <i>desire </i>has reduced its function over time, while <i>want </i>has expanded its function since around 1800. <i>Hope </i>and <i>wish </i>have retained their functions in their respective habitat of indicative and subjunctive mood.

References

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