I was wondering whether someone would be able to explain the origin of the -s form as used to bind a predicate with a third person subject (he,she,it) to express a "simple " present sentence as in he has breakfast. Is there any etymologic hint to explain it.

If it results from a language evolution what is the need for adopting such a flexion as it doesn't seem to ring a meaningful bell in the mind of people (save for morphological habit) or does it mean it signals the binding of a predicate to a subject that is by definition absent and not in a position to assert the validity of the binding?

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    Further in the past, English had more elaborate conjugation: I look, thou lookest, he looketh, and so on. Find this in Shakespeare, for example. Many languages have such conjugations for verbs: and you think it is useless only because it is not found in your native language.
    – GEdgar
    Jan 27 at 14:42
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    Does this answer your question? Why plural noun and verb in singular form, present tense takes 's'? (The question is hard to understand but the top answer should be useful.)
    – Stuart F
    Jan 27 at 15:52
  • As it finally happened, the (roughly Northern) -th suffix gave way to the (roughly Southern) -s suffix in standard English when most of the recorded talk (e.g, literature) took place in the South of England (e.g, London). Jan 27 at 16:16
  • @JohnLawler You might want to check whether -eth was more southern rather than northern. See for example en.wiktionary.org/wiki/…
    – Henry
    Jan 27 at 18:08
  • I said "roughly". The original -s came from Norse, and the -th was English. But folks kept moving around and their dialects kept changing. Jan 28 at 2:19


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