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Arabic morphology: diminutive verbs and diminutive nouns in San'ani Arabic

Watson, JCE 2006, 'Arabic morphology: diminutive verbs and diminutive nouns in San'ani Arabic' , Morphology, 16 (2) , pp. 189-204.

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Abstract

Word formation in Arabic has traditionally been assumed to involve interdigitation of a consonantal root with a vocalic pattern. This view is adopted by a large number of modern generative morphologists. More recently, however, several morphologists have argued that words in Semitic are formed from fully vocalised stems. In this paper, I argue that in San'ani (the dialect of San'a), and in some other Arabic dialects, there is a class of verbs that have as part of either their denotations or connotations a diminutive sense. I then consider diminutive nouns in the dialect. On the basis of semantic and phonological relationships between diminutive verbs and their non-diminutive counterparts, as well as native speakers' explanations of certain diminutive verbs, and the relationship between diminutive nouns and their non-diminutive counterparts, I argue that while some derivational processes take the root as the basic morphological unit, phonological and semantic similarities between certain stems can only be accounted for by derivation from a fully vocalised stem. I therefore conclude that both root-based and stem-based types of word formation occur.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Subjects / Themes > P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
Memory, Text and Place
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences
Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Morphology
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 18715621
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2009 16:08
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 16:54
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/1369

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