Lameen Souag of Jabal al-Lughat has a fascinating entry on the use of be as a suppletive form of go, but only in the past participle: you can say I’ve been to Finland or I’ll have been to Finland five times, but not *I’ll be to Finland or *I am to Finland. I’ve used the construction all my life, but never really thought about how it works; Lameen finishes up with this thought-provoking bit of research:
Google does reveal a couple of instances: “I’ll be to bed in a minute”, “I’ll be to work way early”, and perhaps most strikingly, “I’ve been to more than half of the counties, and in the next six weeks, I’ll be to the other half of the counties”. So it seems we have a change in progress. Does this depend on the region? Will it culminate in a complete merger of “go” and “be”? Are there any parallels to this outside English? What do you think?
Most strikingly, since vowel length is non-phonemic in Kanuri, it seems to use vowel length to indicate high tone instead; thus, for example Arabic al-‘aakhirah “the afterlife” has been borrowed as láxíra, and thus gets spelled as لاخِيرَ. As far as I know, this would make it the only Arabic orthography to mark tone.