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The subjunctive in the Lindisfarne gloss: a focus on past tense be

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The use of the subjunctive in the Old English gloss to the Lindisfarne Gospels is investigated. All the examples of the Latin 3rd person singular imperfect subjunctive, esset, are examined. There are three aims: to contribute to understanding the use of the subjunctive in the gloss of the Lindisfarne Gospel; to add to the authorship debate and to explore the question of how much influence Latin has on the glosses. Adverbial temporal clauses most frequently are found in the subjunctive although indicative is expected in the grammar of Old English. The tendency is strongest in the gospel of Luke. A few doublets of subjunctive and indicative occur, but only in the gospels of Luke and John.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-191
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Special issue: The Northumbrian Old English glosses

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