Enrique Figueroa E. efiguero at CAPOMO.USON.MX
Sat Apr 19 17:24:08 UTC 1997

A very late comment! Funny how this use of "bees" echoes in my mind the
Czech (Slavic, more generally put) opposition of the verbs *by:t* (to be)
/ *by:vat* (to usually be). The latter would be used by Czechs

Jan je nemocny: (John is [now] sick)
Jan by:va: nemocny: (John "bees" sick = John is usually [often] sick)

Sorry for the late interruption of the argument!

On Sun, 6 Apr 1997, Matthew S Dryer wrote:

> Tom Payne notes the use of nonstandard "bees" in
> "He's not crazy, he just _bees_ crazy when he's around girls."
> My eldest son consistently treated "be" as a regular verb (I be, he/she
> bees, I beed, etc.) distinct from the irregular verb "be" with predicates
> like "quiet" and "a good boy" until he was at least four years old, and I
> have occasionally heard adults, including myself (just yesterday in fact),
> do similarly.  I assumed with my son that this was because during his
> first few years, he heard the base form "be" in other contexts
> sufficiently infrequently that he did not know that "be" was a form of the
> verb "am, are, is, was were", while he often heard the form "be" in
> imperative sentences with "volitional" predicates like "quiet" and "a good
> boy" and heard forms like "is" and "are" sufficiently infrequently with
> such predicates, that he assumed that "be" was a distinct verb with a
> volitional meaning, something like "cause oneself to be", or vaguely like
> "act" (cf. "he just acts crazy when he's around girls").  I do not know if
> such usage is common among children, but if it is not uncommon, I suspect
> that it occasionally makes its way into adult usage as well.
> For these reasons, I am skeptical of Tom's suggestion "If it has the
> validational force of downplaying the reality of the assertion, it might
> be thought of as in the same functional domain as a subjunctive."  Rather,
> for some speakers, to at least some extent, there is a distinct regular
> verb "be".
> Has this phenomenon been discussed in the literature at all?
> Matthew Dryer

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