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Weak Verbs

(5,710 words)

Author(s): Rainer Voigt
1. Introduction Apart from functional words such as ḥattā ‘until’, li- ‘to’, wa- ‘and’, all nominal and verbal forms in Arabic are made up of three or four essential elements, called radicals. Any phoneme, except the vowel a, can be the radical of a root. To give an example, in Modern Standard Arabic (Wehr 1985), the following roots can be formed from the strong consonants q and l and the so-called weak radicals (i.e. the consonantal realization of the vowel u), (i.e. the consonantal realization of the vowel i), and ʾ (glottal stop): q-u̯-l ‘to say’, q-i̯-l ‘to have a nap after dinner’, q-l-l…
Date: 2018-04-01

Defective Verbs

(866 words)

Author(s): Rainer Voigt
Amongst those verbs that have either a semi-vowel or a hamza as one element of their root only a few irregularities tend to occur. Moreover, these irregularities are restricted to certain frequently used verbs, which in some forms lose the weak element, e.g. the loss of hamza in some forms of the common verb raʾā/yar(ʾ)ā ‘to see’ (weak verbs). Apart from this, there are some verbs and verbal expressions that are defective and/or which can only partly be subsumed under the usual verbal paradigms. 1. Defective verbs Defective verbs show normal conjugation patterns but certain gramma…
Date: 2018-04-01

Semitic Languages

(5,293 words)

Author(s): Rainer Voigt
  1. Arabic as an archaic Semitic language Historically, the core region of the Semitic peoples during the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C.E. lay in the Fertile Crescent (Palestine – Syria – Mesopotamia). Therefore, their assumed shared original homeland cannot have been situated very far from there. Applying a genetically based distribution model of the individual Semitic peoples, it may be assumed that they emerged from the Syrian desert/steppe and infiltrated the fertile agrarian lands to the east, west, a…
Date: 2018-04-01