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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:25 am 
Sanci
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Drydic Guy wrote:
They shouldn't. A lot of fonts don't have any of the underdotted consonants, so might just want to use combining diacratics for those. (great post btw)


Thanks. I have to admit that ASCIIPA breaks my brain.

hwhatting wrote:
Which one is that? (from your example, it doesn't look like Lebanese - the only dialect I know a bit about).


Really? Every Lebanese Arabic speaker I've ever met does the same thing! Actually, so far as I know, the whole segolate/active participle truncation thing is pretty typical of urban dialects all throughout Israel/Palestine/Lebanon/Jordan/Syria/Iraq. They don't do the segolates in Cairene Arabic, for example. However, they most certainly do the participle stem changes.

For the record, I speak Palestinian Arabic - more pedantically, North Urban Diaspora Palestinian Arabic. *catches breath* The distinction is a bit silly though, as most urban dialects throughout Lebanon/Israel/Palestine/Jordan/Egypt are mutually intelligible (with Egypt being on the extreme periphery of that). Pretty much everyone understands Egyptian Arabic anyway, due to the popularity of their films and music throughout the Middle East.

If anyone is interested, I can contrast some of the posts Maknas has made with Arabic examples (both colloquial and standard).


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:14 am 
Sanci
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Wiseblood wrote:
If anyone is interested, I can contrast some of the posts Maknas has made with Arabic examples (both colloquial and standard).


I'd be interested in that :P

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:23 am 
Smeric
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Wiseblood wrote:

hwhatting wrote:
Which one is that? (from your example, it doesn't look like Lebanese - the only dialect I know a bit about).


Really? Every Lebanese Arabic speaker I've ever met does the same thing! Actually, so far as I know, the whole segolate/active participle truncation thing is pretty typical of urban dialects all throughout Israel/Palestine/Lebanon/Jordan/Syria/Iraq. They don't do the segolates in Cairene Arabic, for example. However, they most certainly do the participle stem changes.


Probably only shows how badly I know even that variant. :D
What I didn't remember hearing was the epenthetic vowel in kalib; I was thinking of 'albi "my heart", which doesn't have such an epenthetic vowel, but perhaps it disappears / doesn't get inserted when the sequence is VCCV?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:38 pm 
Sanci
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Gond wrote:
I'd be interested in that


Alright, here goes. What I'm going to do is look over Maknas' posts and draw parallels between Hebrew and Arabic derivational forms. I've used both IPA and Latin extended characters here; if anyone can't see them or sees an obnoxious amount of question marks, let me know, and I'll see about transcribing them using simpler characters.

The pattern CoCeC in Hebrew corresponds to the pattern CāCiC(un) in Arabic. This is used to form the active participle of non-derived verbs. Although like in Hebrew, they can have verbal force in certain constructions. Arab grammarians use the third person masculine singular past tense verb form faʕala as a base form, so I'll use that in my examples.

ħasaba "he calculated" > ħāsib(un) "calculating"
'akala "he ate" > 'ākilun "eating"
ra'ā "he saw" > rā'in "seeing"

Notice the assimilation of the final vowel and corresponding vowel change in the case ending in that last example (I'll get to verbs like this later on). An interesting point about these is that when used as verbs, they take sound plurals, but when used as nouns/adjectives, they often take broken plurals.

huwa kātibun risālatan "he is writing a letter"
hum kātibūna risālatan "they are writing a letter"
huwa kātibun fī maktabin "he is a clerk in an office"
hum kuttābun fī maktabin "they are clerks in an office"


A common pattern for modern tools and appliances is CaC:āCa(tun).

ħasaba "he calculated" > ħassābatun "calculator"
θalaja "it snowed" > θallājatun "freezer"
daraja "he stepped" > darrājatun "bicycle"
naẓara "he looked at, regarded" > naẓẓāratun "glasses"

These all take sound feminine plurals - sayyāratun "car" > sayyārātun "cars"

Other forms (most likely related to Maknas' Hebrew examples) include miCCāC(un), miCCaCun and miCCaCa(tun) (same as previous, but feminine). The first takes its plural in maCāCīC(u) and the latter two can take maCāCiC(u) (notice that they belong to a seperate declensional paradigm), or take the regular femine ending -āt(un).

našara "he sawed" > minšārun "saw" > manāšīru "saws"
fataħa "he opened" > miftāħun "key" > mafātīħu "keys"

ṣaʕida "he went up, ascended" > miṣʕadun "elevator" > miṣʕadātun "elevators"
qaṣṣa "he cut, trimmed" > miqaṣṣun "scissors" > miqāṣṣu "scissors"

The later forms were orginally *miqaṣaṣun and *miqāṣiṣu, the unstressed short vowel having been deleted in between two identical consonants.

ɣarafa "he scooped" > miɣrafatun "ladle, scoop" > miɣārifu "scoops"
kanasa "he sweeped" > miknasatun "broom" > mikānisu "brooms"

There is also a form for either the time you perform an action or the place. Either of these can be maCCaC(un) or maCCiC(un) and take the broken plural form maCāCiC(u).

kataba "he wrote" > maktabun "office" > mikātibu "offices"
ṣanaʕa "he made, manufactured" > maṣnaʕun "factory" > maṣāniʕu "factories"
waʕada "he promised" > mawʕidun "appointment" > mawāʕidu "appointments"
qabara "he buried" > maqbirun "grave" > maqābiru "graves"

Making these nouns feminine makes them refer to larger places:

kataba "he wrote" > maktabatun "library" > maktabātun "libraries"
qabara "he buried" > maqbaratun "graveyard" > maqbarātun "graveyards"
darasa "he studied" > madrasatun "school" > madārisu "schools"

Okay, I think this has gone on long enough. *pants*

I'll follow up with a discussion of waznu-l-fiʕl (lit. "the weight of the verb), the Arabic equivalent of Hebrew Binyanim in a later post.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:03 pm 
Sanci
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Oh, btw hwhatting, you're absolutely right about the stem change. A simple paradigm.

'alib "heart"
'albī "my heart"
'albinā "our heart"
'albu-kalib "a dog's heart"
'albi-kkalib "the dog's heart"
'albu-kātibi-l-muntada il-intirnāti' "the heart of the internet forum poster"

Bare in mind this can vary somewhat from place to place.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:56 pm 
Avisaru
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Ah, welcome, Wiseblood! It's great to see someone who can contribute a lot of information about Arabic. Your posts so far have been very interesting!


Wiseblood wrote:
*melex might not have been the best choice for this specific explanation, as the Arabic (and I believe the Akkadian) cognate, malikun already has a vowel between C2 and C3. I believe *kalbum (dog) may have been a better choice. Actually, the fact that both types of nouns seem to function the same way in Modern (and I'm assuming Biblical) Hebrew is a testament to the power of sound change and the force of analogy in semitic languages.


Huh, you're right. The proto-Semitic form was in fact *malik-. Melech just functions as so perfect a segolate in Hebrew that I figured it was historically that was as well.

Yes, *kalbum works quite well. The Hebrew equivalent כלב kelev functions exactly the same way.


Wiseblood wrote:
The (masculine) nominative plural ending for PS was probably *-uuma or *-uum. This is based on classical Arabic's ending, -uuna, and Akkadian's ending, -uu. The oblique ending was probably *-iima or *-iim. Again, this is based on Arabic -iina and Akkadian -ii.


Yes, that I'm aware. I wasn't exactly after historically accurate forms in that last post, though - my intent was more to show the principle, not the exact forms.

Actually, I think I had written -úm at first, but then changed it for some reason. No idea why, I must've been thinking of something else...

Wiseblood wrote:
Again, these are silly little nitpicks - feel free to call me a jerk for pointing them out/disputing your analysis.


No, no, it's perfectly fine. Like I said, I didn't go and look up the proto-forms because I didn't think it was necessary, but there's nothing wrong with making examples more accurate.

Wiseblood wrote:
CA: kalbun (dog)
kalb (loss of case ending - seem familiar?)
kalib (epenthetic vowel breaking up final consonant cluster - eerie, isn't it?)

This has the net effect of making malik and kalib look exactly alike in Arabic too.


Huh, interesting. Has your dialect lost cases, or at least eliminated them in many situations? Or just the nominative?

Wiseblood wrote:
Actually, for the life of me, I can't think of *any* word of the types CaCC/CaCiC with a sound plural (not to say there aren't any).


Well, that's analogy for you. I can't think of any CeCeC nouns in Hebrew with a regular (non-segolate) plural (though that doesn't mean there aren't any).

However, watch what happens to the active participle of 'KL (to eat).

Wiseblood wrote:
Fem
CA: 'aakilatun
'aakilah (loss of case endings/final unstressed syllable/vowel)
'aaklah (unstressed syllables disappear)
'aklah (long vowels shorten before cononant clusters)
of course, as per Hebrew, that (t) reappears in the construct state.


Minor note: Hebrew never lost that particular /t/: אוכלת 'ochelet.

It's interesting how much your dialect varies from CA, though. I knew the different varieties of Arabic were quite divergent, but I didn't realize they were quite that divergent.

Wiseblood wrote:
Masc Plur
CA: 'aakiluuna
'aakiluun (loss of case endings/final unstressed syllable/vowel)
'aakiliin (plural form transitions to oblique with the loss of case)
'aakliin (unstressed syllables disappear)
'akliin (long vowels shorten before cononant clusters)


Heh, that process ends up making it a lot more similar to Hebrew: אוכלים 'ochlim.

Hmm, this is making me want to look into Arabic a little more.

Wiseblood wrote:
The pattern CoCeC in Hebrew corresponds to the pattern CāCiC(un) in Arabic. This is used to form the active participle of non-derived verbs. Although like in Hebrew, they can have verbal force in certain constructions. Arab grammarians use the third person masculine singular past tense verb form faʕala as a base form, so I'll use that in my examples.

ħasaba "he calculated" > ħāsib(un) "calculating"
'akala "he ate" > 'ākilun "eating"
ra'ā "he saw" > rā'in "seeing"


Hmm. Usually the third person masculine singular past is used in Hebrew as well. I think Hebrew actually borrowed this from the Arab grammarians, since it uses the same root for demonstrating patterns: פעל pa`al (or paʕal, but since I'm talking about modern Hebrew, it's not really necessary to use the symbol ʕ since that sound is not longer used).

Is there a pattern equivalent to the Hebrew gerund? Using these sames roots:

חשיבה chasivah "thinking"
אכילה 'achilah "eating"
ראייה re'iyah "seeing, sight"

These are exclusively used as nouns, but I ask because they appear much more similar to your Arabic active participles than Hebrew pa`al active participles do.

Wiseblood wrote:
Oh, btw hwhatting, you're absolutely right about the stem change. A simple paradigm.

'alib "heart"
'albī "my heart"
'albinā "our heart"
'albu-kalib "a dog's heart"
'albi-kkalib "the dog's heart"
'albu-kātibi-l-muntada il-intirnāti' "the heart of the internet forum poster"

Bare in mind this can vary somewhat from place to place.


Hrm. Is this related to Hebrew לב lev "heart"? The LB portion looks similar, but the initial alif in the Arabic there is strange (from my perspective).

Wiseblood wrote:
I'll follow up with a discussion of waznu-l-fiʕl (lit. "the weight of the verb), the Arabic equivalent of Hebrew Binyanim in a later post.


I'd love to see it!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 3:18 am 
Sanci
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Maknas wrote:
Ah, welcome, Wiseblood! It's great to see someone who can contribute a lot of information about Arabic. Your posts so far have been very interesting!


Thanks - it's good to know people are interested. :-)

Quote:
No, no, it's perfectly fine. Like I said, I didn't go and look up the proto-forms because I didn't think it was necessary, but there's nothing wrong with making examples more accurate.


I have to admit I'm usually pretty leery about being argumentative (however slight) in my first post to a forum. Thanks for being understanding.

Quote:
Huh, interesting. Has your dialect lost cases, or at least eliminated them in many situations? Or just the nominative?


It has disappeared completely in terms of morpho-syntactics. There are traces of the nominative in certain nouns, ie: PA jiddu versus CA jaddun, both meaning "grandfather". It can also reappear in the construct state, as in bētu-maknas - "Maknas' house". The accusative can still be used to form adverbs:

šdīd "intense" > šdīdan "intensely"
sarīʕ "fast" > sarīʕan "quickly"

Bear in mind you'll just as often hear more analytic constructions too: bišdīd, bisrīʕ - "with intensity, with speed".

I can't think of any other traces of the CA case system in my (or for that matter, any other) dialect of Arabic. Actually, so far as I know, the case system was already disappearing in urban Dialects during Muhammad's lifetime. When Sibawayhi wrote his Arabic grammar in the 8th century, he basically had to go into the desert and find isolated bedouin tribes, as they were the only people who still fully understood the CA case system as presented in the Qur'an. If I had to guess, I'd say that there hasn't been a dialect of Arabic that uses case in at least five hundred years, possibly a thousand.

Quote:
It's interesting how much your dialect varies from CA, though. I knew the different varieties of Arabic were quite divergent, but I didn't realize they were quite that divergent.


You don't know the half of it! Arabic is disglossic in ways that would make the most staunch French and German grammar-nazis run screaming in terror like little children. :-) Basically, the written language has been frozen since the 8th or 9th century. That isn't to say that it hasn't changed, just that fundamentally, the grammar of written Arabic is at least a thousand years removed from modern speech. Simply put, modern Arabic is a dialect continuum; that is you can understand your neighbour just fine, your neighbour's neighbour with a little difficulty, and your neighbour's neighbour's neighbour may as well be speaking Klingon for all you can understand. ;-)

Actually, in some ways the colloquiel dialects are more like each other than CA. Anyway, to illustrate my point, here is an example sentence in CA (on top), my dialect (middle), and Cairene Arabic (bottom).

māðā tafʕalu al'āna?
išīn ʕambitaʕmal halla'?
ʕāmil ē dilwa'ti?
"What are you doing now?"

'urīdu 'an 'arā ṣadīqī fī bayti-'ummihi.
biddī ašūf ṣāħibī fī bēt-immuh.
'anā ʕāwiz ašūf ṣaħibī fi-l-bēt bitāʕ-ummu.
"I want to see my friend at his mother's house"

I really don't have time to get into individual glosses right now (although, if someone wants them, I'll see about doing them later). Actually, if I did gloss them, you'd see that Palestinian Arabic and Egyptian Arabic are more alike than they appear at first glance.

Quote:
Is there a pattern equivalent to the Hebrew gerund? Using these sames roots:


Argh! Not the dreaded Arabic verbal noun! Gerundives in Arabic are extremely difficult to predict. In Arabic we call the verbal noun al-maṣdaru, lit. "the source" (personally I think this is short for "source of agony"). The gerundive for the roots you provided in Arabic would be:

x أكل 'aklun "eating, food"
x حساب ħisābun "calculating, calculation"
x رأي ra'yun "view, opinion"

There are probably another half dozen forms available for simple verbs. The derived forms are, thankfully, quite regular. If I had to guess a cognate form I'd pick CaCūC(un) based on my knowledge of the great caananite vowel shift. Unfortunately, the stem doesn't really serve any specific syntactic function. It usually denotes intensity - jāhilun "ignorant", jahūlun "extremely ignorant".

Quote:
These are exclusively used as nouns, but I ask because they appear much more similar to your Arabic active participles than Hebrew pa`al active participles do.


Actually, I'm fairly certain that the active participle forms in both Arabic and Hebrew are of common descent, the Proto-Semitic form being *CāCiCum. I *think* that the Akkadian form was CāCiCum as well, ie *ākilum, "eating" or *pārisum "deciding". If I had to guess as to the changes involved for Hebrew (now's your turn to look this up and correct *me*):

*'ākilum
*'ākil (loss of case ending)
*'ōkil ( /a/ > /ō/ is one of the most defining characteristics of the Canaanite languages)
*'ōkel ( /i/ > /e/ in a final syllable - as per *malik, mentioned earlier)
*'ōkēl ( /e/ lengthens to /ē/ due to BH stress patterns)
*'ōxēl ( lenition )
'oxel ( loss of vowel length in MH)

Quote:
Hrm. Is this related to Hebrew לב lev "heart"? The LB portion looks similar, but the initial alif in the Arabic there is strange (from my perspective).


No, these forms are descended from CA qalbun ( /q/ regularly becomes /?/ in my dialect). I'd say the Arabic cognate of לב is لبّ (lubbun), which means something like "essence" or "core".

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I'd love to see it!


It's coming, but I think I've been set back a bit. ;-)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:10 am 
Smeric
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Wiseblood wrote:
Oh, btw hwhatting, you're absolutely right about the stem change. A simple paradigm.

'alib "heart"
'albī "my heart"


OK, that makes sense - I don't really speak Lebanese; though I knew 'albi (it is probably the second most frequent word one hears in Lebanese songs after habibi :wink: ), I didn't know that the simple form would be 'alib.
! شكرا


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:42 pm 
Avisaru
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Wiseblood wrote:
Argh! Not the dreaded Arabic verbal noun! Gerundives in Arabic are extremely difficult to predict. In Arabic we call the verbal noun al-maṣdaru, lit. "the source" (personally I think this is short for "source of agony"). The gerundive for the roots you provided in Arabic would be:

x أكل 'aklun "eating, food"
x حساب ħisābun "calculating, calculation"
x رأي ra'yun "view, opinion"

There are probably another half dozen forms available for simple verbs. The derived forms are, thankfully, quite regular. If I had to guess a cognate form I'd pick CaCūC(un) based on my knowledge of the great caananite vowel shift. Unfortunately, the stem doesn't really serve any specific syntactic function. It usually denotes intensity - jāhilun "ignorant", jahūlun "extremely ignorant".


Each time you mention an Arabic form that you think is equivalent to something in Hebrew it reminds me of yet another Hebrew form.

CaCuC isn't a nominalization pattern in Hebrew; it's actually a passive participle (כתוב katuv "written"). However, Hebrew does have a number of different gerundives, one for each binyan:

חשיבה chashivah "thinking" (from binyan pa`al, the active paradigm)
חישוב chishuv "calculation" (from binyan pi`el, the intensive paradigm)
התחשבות hitchashvut "consideration" (from binyan hitpa`el, the reciprocal paradigm)
החשבה hachshavah "ascribing importance" (from binyan hif`il, the causative paradigm)

אכילה 'achilah "eating" (pa`al)
איכול 'ikul "corroding" (pi`el)
האכלה ha'achalah "feeding" (hif`il)

Etc.

So Hebrew gerundives seem a lot more predictable.


Wiseblood wrote:
If I had to guess as to the changes involved for Hebrew (now's your turn to look this up and correct *me*):

*'ākilum
*'ākil (loss of case ending)
*'ōkil ( /a/ > /ō/ is one of the most defining characteristics of the Canaanite languages)
*'ōkel ( /i/ > /e/ in a final syllable - as per *malik, mentioned earlier)
*'ōkēl ( /e/ lengthens to /ē/ due to BH stress patterns)
*'ōxēl ( lenition )
'oxel ( loss of vowel length in MH)


Actually, it looks like you got it exactly.

Wiseblood wrote:
It's coming, but I think I've been set back a bit. ;-)


Heh, sorry!



Though a quick question, if you don't mind. I was looking up some information on modern varieties of Arabic on Wikipedia and saw this:

Quote:
* Development of an analytic genitive construction to rival the constructed genitive.

* Compare the similar development of shel in Modern Hebrew.
* The Bedouin dialects make the least use of the analytic genitive. Moroccan Arabic makes the most use of it, to the extent that the constructed genitive is no longer productive, and used only in certain relatively frozen constructions.


If you don't mind my asking, what word is used for this modern analytic genitive that is equivalent to Hebrew של shel, and what is its etymology (if you know it)?

And would you happen to know the origin of the negative circumfix ma-X-š you see in modern Arabic?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:21 pm 
Sanci
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hwhatting wrote:
OK, that makes sense - I don't really speak Lebanese; though I knew 'albi (it is probably the second most frequent word one hears in Lebanese songs after habibi Wink ), I didn't know that the simple form would be 'alib.


Congratulations, you are now qualified to write lyrics for any singer in the middle east! :-)

Quote:
! شكرا



عفواً!


maknas wrote:
Each time you mention an Arabic form that you think is equivalent to something in Hebrew it reminds me of yet another Hebrew form.


Tell me about it! Part of what brought me into this discussion was how similar the Hebrew forms you posted were to Arabic forms, both in terms of structure and meaning. When you think about it, the two languages are ridiculously similar when you consider that a)there are probably 2500-3000 years worth of diachronic development between them and b) Hebrew was dead as a spoken language for almost 1000 of those years!

Quote:
CaCuC isn't a nominalization pattern in Hebrew; it's actually a passive participle (כתוב katuv "written").


Could you give me some examples of how you'd use the gerundive in MH? I think I may have thought of a better parallel form in Arabic, but I think I'd need to see how you'd use it in a full sentence to be sure.

The passive participle form you mentioned above is very interesting as I believe the Aramaic passive participle form is CCīC: kθīβ "written", qṭīl "killed". What makes this especially interesting is that these are both adjectival forms in Arabic when derived from stative verbs, but when derived from transitive verbs, they work like participles:

kabura "he is/became big" > kabīrun "big"
qatala "he killed" > qatīlun "murdered"
kasila "he is/became lazy" > kasūlun "(extremely) lazy"
kaðaba "he lied" > kaðūbun "lieing, deceiving"
a'rasala "he sent" > rasūlun "messenger", ie "sent"

Granted, faʕūlun is probably one of the *least* common noun/adjective patterns in Arabic. That being said, the Arabic passive participle form is mafʕūlun (maCCūCun). If I had to hazard a guess, the Hebrew form represents the original form, and the Arabic form came about by way of analogy with the derived stems, all of which take an m- prefix for their participles, ie: muktabun "dictated" muktatabun "copied". Adding an m- probably would've seemed quite logical (especially given Semitic Languages' predisposition towards analogy!)

Actually, another possibity is that Arabs used passive participle so much in relative clause that the relativizer "what" simply cliticized to the word:

*al-kitābu katūbun
the book what (is) written
"the book (that) is written
*al-kitābu katūbun ( fuses to word, losing syntactic force)
"the book (is) written"
al-kitābu maktūbun (unstressed vowel is deleted, /ā/ shortens to /a/ due to Arabic syllabic constraints)
"the book (is) written"

Now that I think about it, this could explain why all the derived stems form participles with m-, as well as nouns of instrument, place and time. It's not hard to see these arising from phrases like "the thing what was written", "the place what I write at", "the thing what I write with", etc.

Quote:
However, Hebrew does have a number of different gerundives, one for each binyan:


Out of curiosity, are these seperate from the infitive? or are they the same thing? Again, how would you use them in a sentence?

Quote:
So Hebrew gerundives seem a lot more predictable.


I think we may be crossing signals a bit. It's probably my fault for not being clearer. It's true that simple stems in Arabic - those stems that coincide with Hebrew Pa'al - can be difficult to predict, the derived stems (or as we say in Arabic مزيد mazīdun "augmented") are all perfectly regular:

حساب ħisābun "calculating, calculation" (from wazn faʕala, simple active verbs)
محاسبة muħāsabatun "settling an affair with, accounting" (from wazn fāʕala, reciprical)
تحسّب taħassubun "seeking information about, looking into" (from wazn tafaʕʕala, reflexive intensive)
تحاسب taħāsubun "coming to a mutually benificial arrangement" (from wazn tafāʕala, reflexive reciprical)
احتساب iħtisābun "assuming" (from wazn iftaʕala, active reflexive)

أكل 'aklun "eating, food" (faʕala)
مؤاكلة mu'ākalatun "eating with" (fāʕala)
تأكّل ta'akkulun "to feed oneself" (tafaʕʕala)
تآكل ta'ākulun "eating a meal together" (tafāʕala)

That being said, there are certain patterns they tend to follow. For example, so far as I know, most motion verbs take CuCūCun (xurūjun "exiting", suqūṭ "falling"), many transative verbs that indicate in action performed against someone take CaCCun (ḍarbun "hitting", qatlun "murder"), whereas more "abstract" things tend to take CiCāCa(tun) (kitābatun "writing", qirā'atun "reading", tijāratun "commerce"). Still, Hebrew is almost certainly more predictable, as you said.

Quote:
Though a quick question, if you don't mind. I was looking up some information on modern varieties of Arabic on Wikipedia and saw this:


Apparently, when it comes to comparative Semitic, there's no such thing!

Quote:
If you don't mind my asking, what word is used for this modern analytic genitive that is equivalent to Hebrew של shel, and what is its etymology (if you know it)?


It varies from place to place, and truthfully, we don't use it much in my dialect. The words I'm familiar with are māl (Iraq), bitāʕ (Egypt), mtāʕ (North Africa). I believe that the Iraqi word comes from CA mālun "wealth", whereas bitāʕ/mtaʕ comes from matāʕun "posession". So far as I know, in say, Morocco, it has completely supplanted the traditional geneitive construction involving construct nouns and/or posessive suffixes. In Egypt, it is a little more complex: while you can say il-ʕarabiyyah bitāʕtī "my car" (lit: the car possession-of-me), you can't say *il-umm bitāʕtī for "my mother", for that you'd need to use a possessive suffix - ummī. I *think* the distinction might be between an acquired object versus an inherent object, but I'm not sure. Also, bear in mind that Egytions have no problems using the constructed genitive.

Actually, it's a terrible thing to say, but analytic genitives sound sort of, I dunno, rustic and somehow overy verbose to me. The best metaphor I can think of would be a stereotypical buck-toothed Southern American (apologies to any Southerners who might be reading this!) saying something like, <i>"my car what belongs to me"</i>. I know, I know, I'm a terrible person! :roll:

Out of curiosity, what is the etymology of של? I've always assumed it was some kind of relative construction, involving the preposition li-, something like "the thing that is to", but somehow that doesn't seem quite right. Also, I've read that it's a modern construction only used in MH, and that it didn't exist in BH - is this true?

Quote:
And would you happen to know the origin of the negative circumfix ma-X-š you see in modern Arabic?


See above about simple questions. :-)

I actually don't know how well I can explain this without giving you a primer on the CA verbal system, but here goes... Negation in Classical Arabic is somewhat complex (but thankfully, quite regular), with varying negation particles for different circumstances. One of these particles was , used to negate the perfective verb. Various other negatives were used in other circumstances, including (but not really limited to) lan (future), lam (alternative perfect construction) and (present).

Now also happens to mean "what" in CA (mā-smuka? - "what's your name?", mā hāðā "what's this?"). In case you're wondering, CA uses māðā (lit what-this) before verbs to avoid ambiguity (māðā faʕalta? "what did you do?" vs mā faʕalta "you didn't do").

When the modern Arabic dialects started to appear, they replaced with variations constructions, variously based on the CA phrases 'ayyu-šay'in?/'ayyu-šay'in huwa?, lit: "which-of-thing?", or "which-of-thing-he (is)". For example, we use "šū?" or "išīn?" in my dialect to mean "what?". Now, replacing as an interrogative meant that it could be used as a negative in all tenses, thus eliminating the largely complex negation system of CA. This explains the "ma-" part.

Notice the "šay'in" part of "'ayyu-šay'in" above? Well, šay'un means "thing" in CA. (If you know French, you might be able to see where this is going). Some dialects started adding the word "thing" on to negative sentences (most likely for emphasis). Eventually this weakened to -ši/-š. This suffixal "thing" became so associated with verb negatives that many of these dialects came up with new words for "thing", for example, in Egypt they say "ħaga". This explains the "-š" part.

As a final note, not all dialects use the suffix - mine doesn't (although Gazzans tend to use it), I've *never* heard anyone from Iraq or the Gulf do it, except when they were trying to talk like Egyptians. I bring this up because I've seen sources state that *all* Arabic dialects negate the verb this way, when it really isn't the case.

Lastly, I promise, the discussion on Arabic 'awzān is coming...someday! :-)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:52 pm 
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Wiseblood wrote:
Could you give me some examples of how you'd use the gerundive in MH? I think I may have thought of a better parallel form in Arabic, but I think I'd need to see how you'd use it in a full sentence to be sure


Uh, sure. Here are just some googled examples:

חשיבה הינה פעילות העוסקת במידע
Chashivah hinah pe`ilut ha`oseqet bameda`...
"Thinking is an activity dealing with information...
(lit. "Thinking here is an activity dealing in information")

מהן הפרעות אכילה?
Mahen hafra`ot 'achilah?
"What are eating disorders?"
(lit. "What are they the disturbances of eating?")

מערכת הראייה היא מכלול איברי החישה והמרכזים העצביים המאפשרים לבעלי חיים כמו האדם לראות
Ma`arechet har'iyah hi' michlol 'evrey hachishah vehamerkazim ha`atzabiyim ham'afsherim leba`aley chayim kmo ha'adam lir'ot
"The visual system is the set of sensory organs and neural centers enabling animals such as humans to see"
(lit. "The system of seeing she is the set of organs of sense and neural centers enabling to possessors of life like the human to see")

The basic Hebrew gerundives are especially common in construct formations, as you can see above.

Wiseblood wrote:
Granted, faʕūlun is probably one of the *least* common noun/adjective patterns in Arabic. That being said, the Arabic passive participle form is mafʕūlun (maCCūCun). If I had to hazard a guess, the Hebrew form represents the original form, and the Arabic form came about by way of analogy with the derived stems, all of which take an m- prefix for their participles, ie: muktabun "dictated" muktatabun "copied". Adding an m- probably would've seemed quite logical (especially given Semitic Languages' predisposition towards analogy!)

Actually, another possibity is that Arabs used passive participle so much in relative clause that the relativizer "what" simply cliticized to the word:

*al-kitābu katūbun
the book what (is) written
"the book (that) is written
*al-kitābu katūbun ( fuses to word, losing syntactic force)
"the book (is) written"
al-kitābu maktūbun (unstressed vowel is deleted, /ā/ shortens to /a/ due to Arabic syllabic constraints)
"the book (is) written"

Now that I think about it, this could explain why all the derived stems form participles with m-, as well as nouns of instrument, place and time. It's not hard to see these arising from phrases like "the thing what was written", "the place what I write at", "the thing what I write with", etc.


Actually, Hebrew has that too.

The Hebrew passive participle CaCuC is strange in that it's associated with an active binyan (it's a part of binyan pa`al/qal, the default), so that transitive pa`al verb will have both a complete set of active forms (kotev "writing", katavti "I wrote", 'echtov "I will write", etc), but also a single passive participle (katuv "written"). I'm not exactly sure of its origin.

Hebrew has a number of passive binyanim as well. For example, nif`al represents the true passive counterpart to pa`al, as it is complete with tenses: נכתב nichtav "being written", נכתבו nichtevu "they were written", ייכתב yikatev "it will be written", etc.

Now, the form you were describing, mafʕūlun, appears in Hebrew as binyan huf`al, the passive counterpart to the causative hif`il: Hebrew מוכתב muchtav "be dictated", Arabic muktabun "be dictated". These forms look quite related to me.

(Hebrew passives and stative verbs are quite complex; like I've said before, the language has gone a little nuts with its verbal system)

Wiseblood wrote:
Out of curiosity, are these seperate from the infitive? or are they the same thing? Again, how would you use them in a sentence?


Yes. Hebrew infinitives are actually quite complex...

There are two forms of infinitives, known as the infinitive construct and the infinitive absolute.

The infinitive construct is a shortened form of the verb that must always be preceded by a preposition. Depending on the preposition, it can express a fairly wide variety of meanings.

When preceded by ל le- "to", it functions much like an English infinitive: אני רוצה לכתוב 'ani rotzeh lichtov "I want to write".

When preceded by another preposition (more common in higher registers or in writing), it acts more like a gerund: בהיותי צעיר גרתי בבית גדול Bihyoti tza`ir garti bebayit gadol "When I was young I lived in a big house" (literally "In-being-my young lived-I in-house big"). As you can see this form often will take pronominal suffixes: bihyoti literally means "in my being..." or "while I was...".

The infinitive absolute is historically some sort of verbal noun that acquired a pseudo-verbal function. It is common in Biblical texts and still seen in poetry nowadays, but is generally not seen in speech. It was an unconjugating form that was followed by a conjugated form of the same verb, serving as an extreme emphasis: מות תמות mot tamut "You will surely die." (compare phrases in English like "to dream a dream" or "to die a death" - that's basically the infinitive absolute's function).

The infinitive construct is known in Hebrew as שם הפועל shem hapo`al "the name of the verb". The gerundives I mentioned earlier, like אכילה "eating", are known as שמות הפעולה shmot hape`ulah "the name of the action".

Wiseblood wrote:
Apparently, when it comes to comparative Semitic, there's no such thing!


I said "quick question", didn't I? The question was quick, the answer need not be! :wink:

I just have to say, the idea of making a possessive out of the word "wealth" seems really strange to me. I can understand "possession", but "wealth"? Well, I understand it, but it just sounds a little funny.

The analytic form in Hebrew with של is quite common, but it's a long ways away from replacing other genitives, even in speech. Constructs are still very common for associative relations (eg, תחנת רכבת tachanat rakevet "train station", though rare for possession relations (*בגדי הגבר *bigdey hagever "the man's clothes". Actually, in written Hebrew, the most common possessive form is the redundant בגדיו של הגבר bigdav shel hagever (lit. "clothes-his of the man"). In colloquial spoken Hebrew, though, you generally only see possessive suffixes on nouns in set phrases or with a small set of extremely common nouns, such as family members: אמי 'imi "my mother" (though אמא שלי 'ima sheli is also common).

Wiseblood wrote:
Out of curiosity, what is the etymology of של? I've always assumed it was some kind of relative construction, involving the preposition li-, something like "the thing that is to", but somehow that doesn't seem quite right. Also, I've read that it's a modern construction only used in MH, and that it didn't exist in BH - is this true?


Actually, that's exactly it. The form:

הספר של הגבר hasefer shel hagever "the man's book"

... comes from an earlier:

הספר שלגבר
hasefer shelagever "the book that [is] to the man"

And yes, shel is not seen in Biblical Hebrew as far as I know. It's a later development.

Wiseblood wrote:
I actually don't know how well I can explain this without giving you a primer on the CA verbal system, but here goes... Negation in Classical Arabic is somewhat complex (but thankfully, quite regular), with varying negation particles for different circumstances. One of these particles was , used to negate the perfective verb. Various other negatives were used in other circumstances, including (but not really limited to) lan (future), lam (alternative perfect construction) and (present).


Understandable. Biblical Hebrew (and modern written/formal Hebrew) also has multiple forms of negation - אין 'eyn "there isn't" + pronominal suffixes in the present (אינני יודע 'eyneni yode`a "I don't know" (lit. there_isn't-my knowing"), and with the unchanging form לא lo in the present and future. Those Arabic forms look related to each other, though.

Wiseblood wrote:
In case you're wondering, CA uses māðā (lit what-this) before verbs to avoid ambiguity (māðā faʕalta? "what did you do?" vs mā faʕalta "you didn't do").


Again, you were talking about how many similarities there are between Arabic and Hebrew that you (or I) didn't realize. Hebrew also has a suffixed מה mah "what?", since ma- is a frequent verbal prefix (mahu, mahi, mahem, and mahen - all derive from the third person pronouns meaning he, she, they (m), and they (f).)

The moment you mentioned French I knew where you were heading. Interesting, though!

Wiseblood wrote:
Lastly, I promise, the discussion on Arabic 'awzān is coming...someday! :-)


Heh, I'm sorry I keep distracting you! There's just so much to talk about!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:40 am 
Sanci
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OK... I'm going to resist the urge to further discuss comparative Semetic with Maknas for the time being (believe me, it's hard), and actually post on Arabic derivational morphology.

Maknas has explained most of theory behind this earlier on, so I'll try not to reduplicate his efforts here too much. In Arabic, we speak of وزن الفعل /waznu-l-fiʕli/ or "weight of the verb". There are several different "weights", or 'awzānun' a verb can take, which can be devided into two types - مجرّد /mujarradun/ "naked", or مزيد /mazīdun/ "augmented".

الفعل المجرّد /al-fiʕu-l-mujarradu/ or "the naked verb" is considered the base form from which the others are derived, and can take three forms - faʕala (basic transitive verbs), faʕila (verbs describing temporary states or attributes) and faʕula (verbs describing permanant states or attributes). Actually, Arab grammarians recognize six mujarradun forms, but they have more to do with stem changes across various verb tenses than meaning, so I'll leave out describing the distinctions in more detail.

الأفعال المزيدة /al-afʕāl-l-mazīdatu/ or "the augmented verbs" are a series of prefixes and/or internal stem changes a verb can take in order to "augment" the meaning of a "base" verb. There are 14 mazīdun forms a verb can take, meaning that any verb root can have up to 15 seperate stems. Each of these has a seperate passive form, for a total of 30 potential verb stems from any tri-consonantal root, each of which has its own regularly derived active participle, passive participle and verbal noun.

European grammarians number the forms I-XV, a system I think so brilliant, I'll use it here. Firstly, a list, along with a brief description of each forms meaning:

II - faʕʕala (intensive), III - fāʕala (directed action,reciprocal), IV - 'afʕala (causative), V - tafaʕʕala (reflexive form II), VI - tafāʕala (reflexive form III), VII - infaʕala (passive), VIII - iftaʕala (reflexive form I), IX - ifʕalla (stative of colours/defects), X - istafʕala (reflexive form IV), XI - ifʕālla (intensive form IX), XII - ifʕawʕala (stative), XIII - ifʕawwala (stative), XIV - ifʕanlala (stative), XV - ifʕanlā (stative)

I've listed forms XI-XV for the sake of showing how crazy some of these transformations can get. In truth, the latter 5 forms aren't used much anymore, the most common being XI, which is used more as a variant of form IX for the sake of poetry metre (you'll notice the only difference between the two is vowel length). Of the rest (of the latter 5), I can probably count the number of times I've encountered them on one hand.

Here are some examples of roots (cognate to those provided by Maknas) spread across various awzānun:

k-t-b "writing"

I - kataba "he wrote"
II - kattaba "he forced to write"
III - kātaba "he wrote to, corresponded with"
IV - 'aktaba "he dictated to"
VI - takātabū "they corresponded with one another"
VIII - iktataba "he copied"
X - istaktaba "he dictated"

h-l-k "death, consumption" (originally meant "go")

I - halaka "he passed away"
IV - 'ahlaka "he lay waste to"
VI - tahālaka "he struggled"
X - istahlaka "he consumed"

ħ-s-b "think, consider, calculate"

I - ħasaba "he calculated"
I - ħasiba "he assumed"
I - ħasuba "he became noble"
IV - ħāsaba "he held <object> resposible"
V - taħassaba "he sought knowledge of"
VI - taħāsabū "they settled an affair together"
VIII - iħtasaba "he considered"

ʕ-l-w "be high, raise"

I - ʕalā "he arose"
II - ʕallā "he raised"
III - ʕālā "he went up"
IV - 'aʕlā "he made something high"
V - taʕallā "he climbed"
VI - taʕālā "he was exalted"
VIII - iʕtalā "he raised himself"
X - istaʕtalā "he exalted"

ʕ-l-m "knowledge" -> a guess in terms of a cognate root (/ʔ/ in MH can correspond to /ʔ/, /ʕ/ or /ɣ/ in Arabic)

I - ʕalima "he knew"
II - ʕallama "he taught"
V - taʕallama "he learned"
VI - taʕālama "he pretended to know"

Some random examples to fill in the gaps a bit:

VII - inkasara "it broke"
IX - iħmarra "it became red"
XII - iħdawdaba "it became bent"
XIV - iklanbaba "he tilted his head like a dog" -> "he became perplexed"

The first thing that stands out (at least to me) is that in Arabic, all of these (except for ʕalā) are sound stems, and thus don't go through all the crazy consonant/vowel alterations that their Hebrew cousins do. As a matter of fact, only the semi-vowels (/w/, /y/) and the glottal stop (/ʔ/) are "weak" consonants (the latter more for orthographic reasons than anything else).

Time permitting, I'll devote a post or two to describing each wazn in detail.


Last edited by Wiseblood on Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:25 am 
Sanci
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maknas wrote:
Uh, sure. Here are just some googled examples:


:headdesk:

I should have thought of this earlier, as I did notice the feminine endings on the earlier examples. What really cinched it was your discussion of the Hebrew infinitive. The Arabic "Gerundive"/"Verbal Noun" doesn't correspond to the Hebrew gerundive, but the Hebrew infinitive. The Hebrew gerundive probably corresponds to two forms in Arabic, اسم المرّة /ismu-l-marrati/ "the noun of time" and اسم النوع /ismu-l-nawʕi/ "the noun of type".

The "noun of time" takes the absolute accusative, and is used to count the number of times an action is performed:

قبّلتها تقبيلةً، ضربتني ضربتين، التقينا ثلاث التقايات.
qabbaltuhā taqbīlatan, ḍarabatnī ḍarbatayni, iltaqaynā θalāθa-ltaqāyātin.
"I kissed her once, she hit me twice, we met three times."
(lit. "I kissed her a kiss-acc", "she hit me (a) hit-dual-acc", "we met three-of-meetings")

The "noun of type" is used to describe the manner of the action, and is most often used in the construct:

هو غريب الكتبة.
huwa ɣarību-l-kitbati.
"He has a strange way of writing."
(lit. "he (is) strange-of-writing"

أمرنا إمرة المجنون!
'amaranā 'imrata-l-majnūni!
"He gave us an insane order!"
(lit. "he commanded us (the) command-of-(a)crazy(man)!"



Does "הינה" in "...חשיבה הינה פעילות" serve as a copula? Or does it have some other purpose?

As a side note, here are some cognates I noticed from your examples:


חשיבה - > x حسابة /ħisābatun/, “pensiveness. reflection” (clearly discussed to death already) :-)
הינה -> x هنا /hunā/, “here”
פעילות -> x فعلة /faʕlatun/ "action”
הן -> x هنّ /hunna/ “they all” (feminine)
אכילה - > x أكلة /'aklatun/ “meal”
ראייה x-> رؤية /ru'yatun/ “visibility”
היא x-> هي /hiya/ “she/it”
מכלול x-> كلّ /kullu/ “all”
חישה x-> حسّيّ /ħissiyyun/ “sensory”
מרכזים x-> مركز /markazun/ “centre”
עצביים x -> عصب /ʕaṣabun/ “nerve”
מאפשרים x-> مفسّر /mufassirun/ “enabling”
בעלים x -> بعل /baʕlun/ “master, lord”
חיים x -> حيّ /ħayyun/ “alive/living”
כמו x- > /kamā/ “like, as, accordingly”
אדם x- > آدميّ /'ādamiyyun/ “human”
ראות x-> رأي /ra'yun/ “seeing, opinion”


These are just the ones I noticed - I'm certain a more thorough search would reveal more. As a humorous side note, my brain first thought the Arabic cognate of בעל was بغل /baɣlun/ "mule"; I guess you can imagine my laughter as I thought "living beings" was translated as "mules of life". :-)

Maknas wrote:
The Hebrew passive participle CaCuC is strange in that it's associated with an active binyan (it's a part of binyan pa`al/qal, the default), so that transitive pa`al verb will have both a complete set of active forms (kotev "writing", katavti "I wrote", 'echtov "I will write", etc), but also a single passive participle (katuv "written"). I'm not exactly sure of its origin.


Consider the following (from Arabic):

kasara-š-šubbāka "he broke the window"
kusira-š-šubbāku "the window was broken" (by somebody)
inkasara-š-šubbāku "the window broke" (no agent specified)

I imagine at some point, Hebrew stopped distinguishing between the latter two, and as a result, the passive stem of simple (pa'al/faʕala) verbs fell out of use, leaving its participle still in use.

Quote:
Now, the form you were describing, mafʕūlun, appears in Hebrew as binyan huf`al, the passive counterpart to the causative hif`il: Hebrew מוכתב muchtav "be dictated", Arabic muktabun "be dictated". These forms look quite related to me.


Interesting! In Arabic grammar, we don't disinguish between active/passive forms per se, as each form has a seperate active *and* passive stem. As for hif`il/'afʕala, I believe they both go back to Proto-Semitic *safʕala, so I guess the participle form was originally something like *musafʕalum. There is some wierdness happening here though, as from my point of view the second vowels are reversed in Hebrew:

'afʕala - active
'ufʕila - passive

Out of curiosity, what's the participle form for hif`il?

Quote:
When preceded by ל le- "to", it functions much like an English infinitive: אני רוצה לכתוב 'ani rotzeh lichtov "I want to write".


Wierd... this somehow strikes me as very "European". Does this construction date back to BH? We tend to avoid these types of constructions in Arabic and use relative clause instead: أريد أن أكتب /'urīdu 'an 'aktaba/ (lit. "I want that I write"). Even in cases where we would use the verbal noun like this, the syntax is a little different: أريد الكتابة /'urīdu-l-kitābata/ (lit. ("I want the writing"). How would you say, "I want to write a letter?" or "I want to write the letter?"

Quote:
When preceded by another preposition (more common in higher registers or in writing), it acts more like a gerund: בהיותי צעיר גרתי בבית גדול Bihyoti tza`ir garti bebayit gadol "When I was young I lived in a big house" (literally "In-being-my young lived-I in-house big"). As you can see this form often will take pronominal suffixes: bihyoti literally means "in my being..." or "while I was...".


I have to admit that this example breaks my brain! :-) I think the fact that you did it with the verb "to be" only makes it more painful. :-)

The closest thing to a parallel in Arabic I can think of would be how we prefix b(i)- to verbs to mark the present tense in spoken dialects: 'byaktub' "he writes".

Quote:
The infinitive absolute is historically some sort of verbal noun that acquired a pseudo-verbal function. It is common in Biblical texts and still seen in poetry nowadays, but is generally not seen in speech. It was an unconjugating form that was followed by a conjugated form of the same verb, serving as an extreme emphasis: מות תמות mot tamut "You will surely die." (compare phrases in English like "to dream a dream" or "to die a death" - that's basically the infinitive absolute's function).


This is what tipped me off to my earlier confusion, as we use the exact same construcion in Arabic - verb + verbal noun in absolute accusative. It's also the origin of the "adverbial accusative" examples I gave earlier:

māta mawtan sarīʕan
died death-acc quick-acc
"he died a quick death" = "he died quickly"

You can drop the VN, and are thus left with:
māta sarīʕan
died quick-acc
"he died (a) quick (one)" = "he died quickly"

In Arabic, we call this المفعول المطلق /al-mafʕūlu-l-muṭlaqu/ "the absolute object". Actually, all kinds of wonkiness can happen with/around the VN in Arabic (especially with regard to the case system).

Quote:
I just have to say, the idea of making a possessive out of the word "wealth" seems really strange to me. I can understand "possession", but "wealth"? Well, I understand it, but it just sounds a little funny.


Given that a similar change happened in MH, I'm actually wondering if māl doesn't come from *mā li- "what is to".

Quote:
Understandable. Biblical Hebrew (and modern written/formal Hebrew) also has multiple forms of negation - אין 'eyn "there isn't" + pronominal suffixes in the present (אינני יודע 'eyneni yode`a "I don't know" (lit. there_isn't-my knowing"), and with the unchanging form לא lo in the present and future. Those Arabic forms look related to each other, though.


I'd love to delve into this further, as I'm really curious to see if Hebrew negations are half as baroque as Arabic's.

Quote:
Again, you were talking about how many similarities there are between Arabic and Hebrew that you (or I) didn't realize. Hebrew also has a suffixed מה mah "what?", since ma- is a frequent verbal prefix (mahu, mahi, mahem, and mahen - all derive from the third person pronouns meaning he, she, they (m), and they (f).)


If I understand this right, you're saying that "what" in Hebrew agrees in gender/number with its referent?

One of these days, I *swear* I'll make a post here three lines or less. ;-)


Last edited by Wiseblood on Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 7:05 am 
Smeric
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Maknas, Wiseblood,

A very fascinating discussion, epecially for someone like me who has only started to learn a Semitic language (Arabic).
Keep it up, and don't worry about the length of your posts!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:23 am 
Sanci
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hwhatting wrote:
Maknas, Wiseblood,

A very fascinating discussion, epecially for someone like me who has only started to learn a Semitic language (Arabic).
Keep it up, and don't worry about the length of your posts!


Thanks!

I noticed that you list your location as being in Germany; this is quite funny, because Modern Hebrew sounds a lot like Arabic spoken with an extremely thick German accent to me! As a matter of fact, I remember seeing an interview on TV with a German living in Egypt and all I could think was how much his Arabic sounded like Hebrew.

Out of curiosity, how are you learning? (school? self-study?)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 11:26 am 
Smeric
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Wiseblood wrote:
I noticed that you list your location as being in Germany; (snip)

Out of curiosity, how are you learning? (school? self-study?)


Well, my actual location is Beirut - I'm changing locations relatively often due to work, and I'm just too lazy to change my board profile.
I'm learning MSA from a book - the German edition of the Arabic text book from the French (insert language) sans peine series. Also Lebanese by picking up things here and there - not very succesfully, because almost everybody speaks English or French, so I'm not really forced to practice. And, honestly, I'm not investing enough time in either Standard Arabic or Lebanese.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:32 pm 
Avisaru
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Wiseblood wrote:
European grammarians number the forms I-XV, a system I think so brilliant, I'll use it here. Firstly, a list, along with a brief description of each forms meaning:

II - faʕʕala (intensive), III - fāʕala (directed action,reciprocal), IV - 'afʕala (causative), V - tafaʕʕala (reflexive form II), VI - tafāʕala (reflexive form III), VII - infaʕala (passive), VIII - iftaʕala (reflexive form I), IX - ifʕalla (stative of colours/defects), X - istafʕala (reflexive form IV), XI - ifʕālla (intensive form IX), XII - ifʕawʕala (stative), XIII - ifʕawwala (stative), XIV - ifʕanlala (stative), XV - ifʕanlā (stative)


Is there any difference between the forms you describe the same way? Like between all of the ones you mark as reflexive or stative?

It's interesting that so many forms are counted as 'official'. I say this because Hebrew 'officially' is said to have seven binyanim, but in reality there is a large number of "minor binyanim" that are either nonproductive or have only limited productivity, and they usually replace a more common form - ie, roots that have a form in the stative minor binyan pa`el tend not to have a pa`al/qal form.

In addition, the minor binyanim tif`el and shif`el, which are productive, tend to be analyzed as just prefixed roots (eg, the verb shichtev "revise" is said not to be a separate binyan of katav "write", but rather a amended root SH-K-T-B).

Wiseblood wrote:
The first thing that stands out (at least to me) is that in Arabic, all of these (except for ʕalā) are sound stems, and thus don't go through all the crazy consonant/vowel alterations that their Hebrew cousins do. As a matter of fact, only the semi-vowels (/w/, /y/) and the glottal stop (/ʔ/) are "weak" consonants (the latter more for orthographic reasons than anything else).


That's interesting. I knew Hebrew was a lot more baroque than most Semitic languages, but I didn't realize it was by such a large margin. In Hebrew just about half the alphabet can trigger derivative vowel patterns (gzarot) in some situation.

Wiseblood wrote:
Time permitting, I'll devote a post or two to describing each wazn in detail.


I'd love to see it!

Wiseblood wrote:
قبّلتها تقبيلةً، ضربتني ضربتين، التقينا ثلاث التقايات.
qabbaltuhā taqbīlatan, ḍarabatnī ḍarbatayni, iltaqaynā θalāθa-ltaqāyātin.
"I kissed her once, she hit me twice, we met three times."
(lit. "I kissed her a kiss-acc", "she hit me (a) hit-dual-acc", "we met three-of-meetings")


Okay, I just have to say, I love the way that's expressed. Quite a unique way of expressing multiple actions.

Wiseblood wrote:
Does "הינה" in "...חשיבה הינה פעילות" serve as a copula? Or does it have some other purpose?


Basically, yes. Modern Hebrew's developed a number of ways of expressing the copula in the present tense.

The most common are the third person pronouns הוא, היא, הם, הן hu', hi', hem, hen, which agree with their subject.

Also common is זה zeh "this", which is used when the subject has no gender. That is, it's an infinitive verb or a pronominal phrase such as mah she- "whatever"

הינה hineh "here is" is much more literary/formal.

All of the above only appear in the third person, however, and even then not always. In the first and second persons no copula is used in the present tense.

Wiseblood wrote:
מכלול x-> كلّ /kullu/ “all”


Hebrew has plain כל kol for "all" too. מכלול is a derived form.

Wiseblood wrote:
These are just the ones I noticed - I'm certain a more thorough search would reveal more. As a humorous side note, my brain first thought the Arabic cognate of בעל was بغل /baɣlun/ "mule"; I guess you can imagine my laughter as I thought "living beings" was translated as "mules of life".


Heh, that wouldn't be a very flattering idiom.

The primary meaning of בעל ba`al in modern Hebrew is "husband", but it is commonly seen in construct phrases with an abstract noun to meaning "possessor of X". To say someone is experienced, for example, you can say that they're בעל נסיון ba`al nisayon "a possessor of experience".

Wiseblood wrote:
I imagine at some point, Hebrew stopped distinguishing between the latter two, and as a result, the passive stem of simple (pa'al/faʕala) verbs fell out of use, leaving its participle still in use.


That makes sense. Pa`al verbs would then have coopted nif`al for the full set of passive forms.

hachalon shavur "the window is broken" (pa`al passive participle)
hachalon nishbar "the window is being broken" (nif`al participle)
hachalon yishaver "the window will be broken" (conjugated nif`al verb)

Wiseblood wrote:
Out of curiosity, what's the participle form for hif`il?


maf`il

Wiseblood wrote:
Wierd... this somehow strikes me as very "European". Does this construction date back to BH? We tend to avoid these types of constructions in Arabic and use relative clause instead: أريد أن أكتب /'urīdu 'an 'aktaba/ (lit. "I want that I write"). Even in cases where we would use the verbal noun like this, the syntax is a little different: أريد الكتابة /'urīdu-l-kitābata/ (lit. ("I want the writing"). How would you say, "I want to write a letter?" or "I want to write the letter?"


I wouldn't be surprised if it was European in origin.

"I want to write a letter" works the same way: אני רוצה לכתוב מכתב 'ani rotzeh lichtov michtav.

The relative clause is only used if a different subject is involved: אני רוצה שאתה תכתוב מכתב 'ani rotzeh she'atah tichtov michtav "I want you to write a letter" (lit. "that you will write").

Come to think of it, it does sound foreign in origin to me. The verb ratzah "want" doesn't take objects with the preposition le- "to", so it does seem odd that it would require verbs to have it. In Modern Hebrew at least, it's probably best to view the infinitives with le-, such as lichtov, as distinct verb forms rather than a preposition+verbal noun, since it behaves more like a European-style infinitive.

Wiseblood wrote:
I have to admit that this example breaks my brain! Smile I think the fact that you did it with the verb "to be" only makes it more painful.


Heh. This, on the other hand, is much closer to the original function, as a preposition and a verbal noun.

This example might be easier to comprehend:
אני מחכה לשובך 'ani mechakeh leshuvcha
"I am waiting for your return" (lit. "for-return-your").

This is also an example of le-+verbal noun being used as such, not as an infinitive.

(Of course, in the spoken language, such expressions aren't used very often. More common would be 'ani mechakeh shetashuv "I am waiting that you will return")

Wiseblood wrote:
The closest thing to a parallel in Arabic I can think of would be how we prefix b(i)- to verbs to mark the present tense in spoken dialects: 'byaktub' "he writes".


Huh, that's interesting.

(The modern spoken forms of Arabic really interest me, since I'm so completely unfamiliar with how they function)

Wiseblood wrote:
I'd love to delve into this further, as I'm really curious to see if Hebrew negations are half as baroque as Arabic's.


I kind of doubt it!

In the formal language, there are only four types of negation that I can think of.

In the present tense, you just declined forms of the particle אין there isn't with present participles. As I said earlier: ('ani) 'eyneni yode`a "I don't know" ([ I ] there_isn't-I knowing-masc).

In the past and future, the form non-declining לא lo' is used: hu' lo' hayah ke'an "He was not here" (He not be-past-3sg-masc here). Colloquially this is used instead of 'eyn in the present tense as well.

אל 'al is used with future tense forms to create a negative imperative: 'al tedaber! "Don't speak!" (not speak-future-2sg-masc).

אי 'i is used to negate adjectives in certain phrases. It's like English un- or in-, but is a free word: 'i 'efshar lehipagesh `achshav "We can't meet right now" (not possible to_meet_each_other now)


How do the Arabic forms work? And do you know where the the forms lam/lan came from, since they look related to lā?

Wiseblood wrote:
If I understand this right, you're saying that "what" in Hebrew agrees in gender/number with its referent?


It doesn't have to. The most common form is just מה mah. But remember what I said earlier about the third person pronouns being used as copulas? When they are used after mah, yes, they agree with their referent and attach to mah: מהו mahu "what is (masc)?", מהי mahi "what is (fem)?", מהם mahem "what are (masc)?", מהן mahen "what are (fem)?"

The same is seen after the demonstrative pronouns. Alone the singular forms of "this" are זה zeh (masc) and זאת zot (fem), but when followed by a personal pronoun functioning as a copula, they become זהו zehu "this is (masc)" and זוהי zohi "this is (fem)".

So basically you can either say מה התשובה? mah hatshuvah? "what is the answer?" or מהי התשובה mahi hatshuvah.

Wiseblood wrote:
Modern Hebrew sounds a lot like Arabic spoken with an extremely thick German accent to me! As a matter of fact, I remember seeing an interview on TV with a German living in Egypt and all I could think was how much his Arabic sounded like Hebrew.


Heh, I've heard all sorts of things about what Modern Hebrew sounds like. I personally don't think MH sounds that much like German, but English spoken with an Israeli accent sounds somewhat French to me.

hwhatting wrote:
A very fascinating discussion, epecially for someone like me who has only started to learn a Semitic language (Arabic).
Keep it up, and don't worry about the length of your posts!


Hey, I didn't realize you were studying Arabic (... or that you were in Beirut for that matter). Well, good luck!


I'd like to study some Arabic sometime, though it really seems like you need to learn two separate languages in order to do that, MSA and a local spoken form. That and I have no idea which spoken form, yet.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:54 pm 
Niš
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Maknas & Wiseblood,

Very informative posts! And Maknas, thanks for your answer to my post a while back. On that note, I have another question which hopefully won't distract you guys from your enlightening discussion for too long. I was recently reading a discussion of Japanese bird naming online (I don't know how I found myself there, but it was quite fascinating).

I started wondering about names of animals and body parts in Semitic languages and how these are done; they seem like two random groups of objects, but what I'm thinking is that they wouldn't seem to fit into the triconsonantal system very well, as they seem to be very noun-ish sorts of things that would be difficult to derive from a root. But perhaps I'm entirely wrong.

Thanks.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:15 pm 
Lebom
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Maknas wrote:
I'd like to study some Arabic sometime, though it really seems like you need to learn two separate languages in order to do that, MSA and a local spoken form. That and I have no idea which spoken form, yet.


Unless you decide (for some strange reason) to study Maghrebi Arabic, some of the dialects are not all that different from MSA, if anything, they're simpler.
I often find myself switching back and forth between MSA and dialect because I know some words in one, but not in the other. If you decide to study Arabic, in addition to MSA, I would recommend the Egyptian dialect, which is probably the most widely understood (because of the before-mentioned media) and also IMO, not too dissimilar from MSA.
There's also Lebanese and Palestinian, either of which would be useful if you're going to Israel, but I don't know a whole lot about them besides phonology...

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:01 pm 
Avisaru
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dragonprince99 wrote:
I started wondering about names of animals and body parts in Semitic languages and how these are done; they seem like two random groups of objects, but what I'm thinking is that they wouldn't seem to fit into the triconsonantal system very well, as they seem to be very noun-ish sorts of things that would be difficult to derive from a root. But perhaps I'm entirely wrong.


Well, generally things like that aren't derived from a root. They're ancient nouns that the Semitic languages inherited from whatever came before Proto-Semitic, before the triconsonantal system was in place. If they have three consonants, that's purely coincidence. However, these nouns can always be used to create new verbs or nouns.

Some common Hebrew body part terms, for example:
יד yad "hand/arm"
ראש rosh "head"
רגל regel "foot/leg" (there's a bunch of derivatives here, including rigel "to spy, follow" and tirgel "train")
אוזן 'ozen "ear" (giving he'ezin "listen")
עין `ayin "eye" (giving `iyen "reflect, consider, weigh")
אף 'af "nose"
פה peh "mouth"

So such nouns can give rise to verbs, especially if they already have three consonants (in which case they fit nicely into the triconsonantal paradigm).

With animals you don't see this type of derivation quite as often, but it does happen. Compare ציפור tzipur "bird" and צפר tzafar "whistle, sound" (actually, there's a good chance the word "bird" came from the verb here, I'm not sure).


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:53 pm 
Sanci
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hwhatting wrote:
Well, my actual location is Beirut - I'm changing locations relatively often due to work, and I'm just too lazy to change my board profile.
I'm learning MSA from a book - the German edition of the Arabic text book from the French (insert language) sans peine series. Also Lebanese by picking up things here and there - not very succesfully, because almost everybody speaks English or French, so I'm not really forced to practice. And, honestly, I'm not investing enough time in either Standard Arabic or Lebanese.


I trust you're taking the opportunity to enjoy what is quite possibly the finest cuisine in the world during your stay? :-)

As for lack of practice - maybe you could pretend you don't speak English and French? ;-)

Maknas wrote:
Is there any difference between the forms you describe the same way? Like between all of the ones you mark as reflexive or stative?


There are plenty of differences! The descriptions I gave were pretty generic, and most forms have several diffirent kinds of meanings. So while Form VI (tafāʕala) often forms the reflexive for the reciprocal Form III (fāʕala), as in ḍaraba "he hit" > ḍāraba "he fought with" > taḍārabū "they fought each other", it can also mean "to imitate", as in jahula "he was ignorant" > tajāhala "he pretended to be ignorant". Again, I'll try to devote a few posts to describing each form in detail (the statives alone would merit their own post - and yes, they do have different meanings).

Quote:
It's interesting that so many forms are counted as 'official'. I say this because Hebrew 'officially' is said to have seven binyanim, but in reality there is a large number of "minor binyanim" that are either nonproductive or have only limited productivity, and they usually replace a more common form - ie, roots that have a form in the stative minor binyan pa`el tend not to have a pa`al/qal form.


Well, these are all 'offical' in the sense that they represent the only forms a verb can take in the language! Fundamentally, there are three 'types' of verbs in Arabic - faʕala, faʕila and faʕula (as mentioned earlier, Arab grammarians distinguish six, but the distinction is based on the vowels they take in the imperfect stem, and really doesn't affect meaning, at least for our purposes).

Most verbs will take one or the other - kabura "he became big" - *kabara and *kabira don't exist (I'm wondering if your pa`el/pa`al example above is a similar phenomenon). There are some exceptions, of course (see ħasaba/ħasiba/ħasuba in my previous post). However, when a stem is derived, it will take one of these forms, with predictable vowels in the perfect/imperfect/verbal noun/participles. Hell, even the quad-consonant verbs work like Form II (faʕʕala) verbs, with the second and third radicals taking the place of the centre geminate!

Granted, there is also an anomolous verb, ليس laysa, used to negate nominal sentences, but I think it's safe to view it as an exception, rather than its own wazn!

Also, "I can probably count the number of times I've encountered them on one hand", was probably a poor turn of phrase on my part; a better explanation would be to say that they (forms XI-XV) belong to the same register of writing/speech as words like "perfidious" and "prolix" in English.

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In addition, the minor binyanim tif`el and shif`el, which are productive, tend to be analyzed as just prefixed roots (eg, the verb shichtev "revise" is said not to be a separate binyan of katav "write", but rather a amended root SH-K-T-B).


There are a few verbs in Arabic of the *safʕala/šafʕala/zafʕala type as well, they even have their own nominal pattern, sifʕālun: masara "he pleased" > samsara "he acted as a broker" > simsārun "middleman", ʕawwaza "he enchanted" > šaʕwaza "he conjured", ħallaqa "he flew in circles" > zaħlaqa "he slid, trundled". If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say these (probably along with the shif`el verbs you mention) came from borrowings from neighbouring Semitic languages that didn't make the /s/ > /h/ change in their pronouns/verb augments, as Arabic in Hebrew did - if I had to guess, I'd say either East Semitic (Akkadian, Babylonian, etc.), or an ancestor of the Modern South Arabian languages.

There are also a few verbs of the tafʕala type in Arabic as well - nabula "he was high strung", tanbala "he was lazy".

Additionally, you could probably make the case for fawʕala and fayʕala as well: jawraba "he put on socks" from jirābun "sheath", saṭara "he drew a line, set boundaries" > sayṭara "he dominated".

These are all fairly rare though, and you could argue about how productive they really are. Moreover, as they *all* work like regular quad-consonant verbs, Arab grammarians treat them as such, and tend to view the prefix as one of the radicals, froming a seperate root (just as in SH-K-T-B).

Quote:
That's interesting. I knew Hebrew was a lot more baroque than most Semitic languages, but I didn't realize it was by such a large margin. In Hebrew just about half the alphabet can trigger derivative vowel patterns (gzarot) in some situation.


I actually think Arabic might be the exception more than the rule here: Aramaic had very similar consonant mutations to Hebrew (and did some pretty wierd things with liquids/rhotics as well!), the various East Semitic languages are known for all kinds of wierd assimilations/dissimilations, most of the Ethiopean Semitic languages perform various transformations on their stems (Chaha being something of a "rock star" in this regard). There is also a mathmatical factor: Arabic has six vowels, Biblical Hebrew had fourteen(!) - there is, after all, only so much you can do with six vowels! ;-)

I'd also venture to guess that some of the complexity arises from all the sound mergers in MH, as well as the loss of gemination and chronemic distinction in the vowels.

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Basically, yes. Modern Hebrew's developed a number of ways of expressing the copula in the present tense.

The most common are the third person pronouns הוא, היא, הם, הן hu', hi', hem, hen, which agree with their subject.


We use the third person pronoun as a copula in Arabic as well, but only under certain circumstances. Also, compare هو، هي، هم، هنّ huwa, hiya, hum, hunna.

I have to admit that using "here" as a copula seems strange to me!

Quote:
The primary meaning of בעל ba`al in modern Hebrew is "husband", but it is commonly seen in construct phrases with an abstract noun to meaning "possessor of X". To say someone is experienced, for example, you can say that they're בעל נסיון ba`al nisayon "a possessor of experience".


We actually use a special word, ذو /ðū/ for this purpose. Compare Arabic ذو اختبار /ðū ixtibārin/ "possessor of experince, experienced". You can also use أبو، أجو، ابن... "father of, brother of, son of" (along with their feminine counterparts) for similar purposes.

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In the present tense, you just declined forms of the particle אין there isn't with present participles. As I said earlier: ('ani) 'eyneni yode`a "I don't know" ([ I ] there_isn't-I knowing-masc).


Interesting! This looks a lot like the "emphatic" and subjunctive particles in Arabic: أنا شاطرٌ /anā šāṭirun/ "I am smart", إنّني لشاطر /'innanī lašāṭirun/ "I am really smart", or perhaps more idiomatically, "daaammn, I'm smart!"

Quote:
How do the Arabic forms work? And do you know where the the forms lam/lan came from, since they look related to lā?


Okay, here goes (you really opened pandora's box on this one):

The particles lā, mā, lam, and lan are used to negate the various basic tenses in Arabic:

kataba "he wrote" > mā kataba "he didn't write" (mā + verb in perfect)
kataba "he wrote" > lam yaktub "he didn't write" (lam + verb in jussive) - this is preferred over the above
yaktubu "he writes" > lā yaktubu "he doesn't write" (lā + imperfect)
sayaktubu "he will write" > lan yaktuba "he will not write" (lan + subjunctive)
uktub! "write!" > lā taktub! "don't write!" (lā + jussive)

Existential sentences in the future or past use the above form + the verb kāna "to be":
kāna majnūnan "he was crazy" > lam yakun majnūnan "he wasn't crazy"
sayakūnu majnūnan "he will be crazy" > lan yakūna majnūnan "he won't be crazy"

Existential sentences in the present tense use the strange verb, ليس /laysa/ "not to be"

huwa majnūnun "he is crazy" > laysa majnūnan "he isn't crazy" (laysa + noun in accusative)
huwa majnūnun "he is crazy" > laysa bimajnūnin "he isn't crazy" (laysa + bi+noun in genitive) stylistic variant
fawqa-ṣ-ṣaħni milʕaqatun "there is a spoon on the plate" > laysat milʕaqatun fawqa-ṣ-ṣaħni "there is no spoon on the plate"

It gets worse: there are about a half-dozen formulae for negating nouns. Here are the ones I can think of:

šay'un "thing" > lā šay'a "nothing" (lā + noun in accusative construct)
wujūdun "existence" > ʕadamu-wujūdin (ʕadam in construct + noun in genitive)
'axlāqun "morality" > ʕadīmu-l-'axlāqi "immoral" (ʕadīm in construct + noun in emphatic genitive)
mumkinun "possible" > ɣayru-mumkinin "impossible" (ɣayr in construct + noun in genitive)

Quote:
It doesn't have to. The most common form is just מה mah. But remember what I said earlier about the third person pronouns being used as copulas? When they are used after mah, yes, they agree with their referent and attach to mah: מהו mahu "what is (masc)?", מהי mahi "what is (fem)?", מהם mahem "what are (masc)?", מהן mahen "what are (fem)?"

The same is seen after the demonstrative pronouns. Alone the singular forms of "this" are זה zeh (masc) and זאת zot (fem), but when followed by a personal pronoun functioning as a copula, they become זהו zehu "this is (masc)" and זוהי zohi "this is (fem)".

So basically you can either say מה התשובה? mah hatshuvah? "what is the answer?" or מהי התשובה mahi hatshuvah.


We do the same thing in Arabic, compare: hāðā ħallun "this is a solution" > hāðā huwa-l-ħallu "this is the solution", and /mā ħallun?/ "what is a solution?" > /mā huwa-l-ħallu?/ "what is the solution?" In Arabic, though, the copula is obligitory when the subject is definate.

Quote:
Heh, I've heard all sorts of things about what Modern Hebrew sounds like. I personally don't think MH sounds that much like German, but English spoken with an Israeli accent sounds somewhat French to me.


For some reason I'm seeing a picture of an "R", only upsidedown! ;-)

Out of curiosity, what "sorts of things" have you heard?

Quote:
I'd like to study some Arabic sometime, though it really seems like you need to learn two separate languages in order to do that, MSA and a local spoken form. That and I have no idea which spoken form, yet.


I'd recommend you try Egyptian Arabic - see below.

Khvaragh wrote:
Unless you decide (for some strange reason) to study Maghrebi Arabic, some of the dialects are not all that different from MSA, if anything, they're simpler.


It depends on what you mean by "simpler". While spoken Arabic has lost case inflection and, say, the dual verb forms/pronouns, complexities have arisen in other places. I would imagine that a highly synthetic verb like ʕambajībuhluh "I'm giving it to him" would've sent the original Arabs running in terror. :-) I do agree, however, that a dialect would be easier to "jump into".

Quote:
I often find myself switching back and forth between MSA and dialect because I know some words in one, but not in the other. If you decide to study Arabic, in addition to MSA, I would recommend the Egyptian dialect, which is probably the most widely understood (because of the before-mentioned media) and also IMO, not too dissimilar from MSA.


I agree with Egyptian being a good choice in terms of exposure. I do, however, think that there are plenty of dialects closer to MSA than Egyptian. Hell, there are times when Maltese seems more like CA than Egyptian to me! As for the code-switching - I do it myself all the time! I'm actually notorious amongst my family for saying things like,"هل بتستطيع ان تجبلي قليلا من السكر؟"

dragonprince99 wrote:
I started wondering about names of animals and body parts in Semitic languages and how these are done; they seem like two random groups of objects, but what I'm thinking is that they wouldn't seem to fit into the triconsonantal system very well, as they seem to be very noun-ish sorts of things that would be difficult to derive from a root. But perhaps I'm entirely wrong.


Maknas covered this pretty nicely, but a few extra points:

There are all kinds of examples of verbs being derived from body parts in Arabic رأس /ra'sun/ "head" > ra''asa "he put on his head" > tara''asa "he presided". Also, there are plenty of examples of animals derived from generic roots in Arabic - some examples:

'aħmaru "red" > ħimārun "donkey"
ħaṣuna "he was reliable, steady" > ħiṣānun "horse"
'aṣfaru "yellow" > ʕaṣfūrun "bird" (but see Maknas' tzipur example as well)
qaṭṭa "he cut, sharpened" > qiṭṭun "cat"
harra "he growled" > hirrun "cat" (Muhammad and his friends were cat people)
namila "he was pins and needles" > namlatun "ant"

Okay, that post was so long, it felt like my kids would have to finish it. ;-)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 8:57 pm 
Avisaru
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Wiseblood wrote:
There are plenty of differences! The descriptions I gave were pretty generic, and most forms have several diffirent kinds of meanings. So while Form VI (tafāʕala) often forms the reflexive for the reciprocal Form III (fāʕala), as in ḍaraba "he hit" > ḍāraba "he fought with" > taḍārabū "they fought each other", it can also mean "to imitate", as in jahula "he was ignorant" > tajāhala "he pretended to be ignorant". Again, I'll try to devote a few posts to describing each form in detail (the statives alone would merit their own post - and yes, they do have different meanings).


Heh, I can't say I'm surprised there. The same form in Hebrew (the reflexive hitpa`el) is also used to mean "imitate":

nilcham "he fought"
hitlachmu "they fought each other"

chalah "he was sick"
hitchalah "he feigned illness"

Wiseblood wrote:
Hell, even the quad-consonant verbs work like Form II (faʕʕala) verbs, with the second and third radicals taking the place of the centre geminate!


Hebrew too - four and five consonant roots in Hebrew all use the pi`el pattern, with the "geminate" replaced by two consonants (even though there's no actual geminate seen in modern Hebrew).

Wiseblood wrote:
There are a few verbs in Arabic of the *safʕala/šafʕala/zafʕala type as well, they even have their own nominal pattern, sifʕālun: masara "he pleased" > samsara "he acted as a broker" > simsārun "middleman", ʕawwaza "he enchanted" > šaʕwaza "he conjured", ħallaqa "he flew in circles" > zaħlaqa "he slid, trundled". If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say these (probably along with the shif`el verbs you mention) came from borrowings from neighbouring Semitic languages that didn't make the /s/ > /h/ change in their pronouns/verb augments, as Arabic in Hebrew did - if I had to guess, I'd say either East Semitic (Akkadian, Babylonian, etc.), or an ancestor of the Modern South Arabian languages.

There are also a few verbs of the tafʕala type in Arabic as well - nabula "he was high strung", tanbala "he was lazy".


Actually, I'm pretty sure you're right. The sh- is related to the causative (h- in Hebrew). You can see a sort of causative in the meanings of new roots:

shichtev "rewrite" < katav "write"
shi`ebed "enslave, mortgage" < `avad "work"

The t- prefix is most likely related to the reflexive/detransitivizing /t/ seen in forms such as hitpa`el.

tiqsher "communicate" < qashar "tie"
tidrech "brief" < hidrich "guide, instruct"



EDIT: I'm sorry, I have to split this post in half. For some reason if I don't the formatting gets completely screwed up and half the post just disappears, and I have no idea why.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 8:58 pm 
Avisaru
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Second half:



Wiseblood wrote:
These are all fairly rare though, and you could argue about how productive they really are. Moreover, as they *all* work like regular quad-consonant verbs, Arab grammarians treat them as such, and tend to view the prefix as one of the radicals, froming a seperate root (just as in SH-K-T-B).


That's true with Hebrew too. They function just as regular quadraliteral roots, but they're definitely not "rare". In terms of productivity, I'm not sure - I don't know when these examples date from. The above ones are probably older, but I have no idea whether or not there are recent coinages using these prefixes.

Wiseblood wrote:
There is also a mathmatical factor: Arabic has six vowels, Biblical Hebrew had fourteen(!) - there is, after all, only so much you can do with six vowels! ;-)


Well, modern Hebrew has only five, and while that did simplify a lot, the language is still very complicated when it comes to vowels...

Wiseblood wrote:
I have to admit that using "here" as a copula seems strange to me!


Well, it's not "here" exactly, it's an existential particle, roughly like "here is" in English (the closer counterpart to "there is"). But it's not your usual copula, that's for sure.

Wiseblood wrote:
You can also use أبو، أجو، ابن... "father of, brother of, son of" (along with their feminine counterparts) for similar purposes.


Yeah, you see the same in Hebrew in a few circumstances. You see ben "son" and bat "daughter" frequently with ages, for example: הוא בן שש-עשרה hu' ben shesh-`esreh "He's sixteen years old" (lit. "He is a son of fifteen"). Interestingly, you use the same form when giving the ages of inanimate objects...

Wiseblood wrote:
Interesting! This looks a lot like the "emphatic" and subjunctive particles in Arabic: أنا شاطرٌ /anā šāṭirun/ "I am smart", إنّني لشاطر /'innanī lašāṭirun/ "I am really smart", or perhaps more idiomatically, "daaammn, I'm smart!"


Well, an intensive and a negative seem very different meaning-wise. This usage in Hebrew is an extension of its normal use as one of the five suffixed existencial particles in Hebrew:

יש yesh "there is" > ישנו yeshno "he exists"
אין 'eyn "there isn't" > אינו 'eyno "he does not exist" (eg, hu' 'eyno ke'an "He is not here")
עוד `od "still" > עודנו `odenu "he still is" (eg, hu' `odenu ke'an "He is still still")
הינה hineh "here is" > היננו hinenu "here he is"
הרי harey "is indeed" > הרינו hareynu "he is indeed"

The last two are very rare in speech (they sound very formal or legalistic), and the first only used in certain situations. All of the particles are frequently seen unsuffixed, though.


Wiseblood wrote:
šay'un "thing" > lā šay'a "nothing" (lā + noun in accusative construct)
wujūdun "existence" > ʕadamu-wujūdin (ʕadam in construct + noun in genitive)
'axlāqun "morality" > ʕadīmu-l-'axlāqi "immoral" (ʕadīm in construct + noun in emphatic genitive)
mumkinun "possible" > ɣayru-mumkinin "impossible" (ɣayr in construct + noun in genitive)


Oh, that just reminded me of several others:

shum: maqom "place" > shum maqom "nowhere, no place"
bilti: musari "moral" > bilti musari "immoral"

Wow, I never actually realized how many negatives Hebrew had. Arabic definitely has more, but Hebrew certainly has its fair share as well.


Wiseblood wrote:
For some reason I'm seeing a picture of an "R", only upsidedown! ;-)

Out of curiosity, what "sorts of things" have you heard?


Well, both German and French have [ ʁ ]...

(And okay, I've only really heard German and French used for comparison)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:22 pm 
Smeric
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Wiseblood wrote:
I trust you're taking the opportunity to enjoy what is quite possibly the finest cuisine in the world during your stay? :-)


You bet. The food is one of the things that keeps one going despite the silly politics.

Quote:
As for lack of practice - maybe you could pretend you don't speak English and French? ;-)


Problem is, they speak every other language as well in this country(except Hebrew, at least officially :wink: )


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:37 am 
Sanci
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Maknas wrote:
Heh, I can't say I'm surprised there. The same form in Hebrew (the reflexive hitpa`el) is also used to mean "imitate":


Interesting, although I believe a better cognate form in Arabic would be istafʕala, with the consonant cluster stoping the change /s/ > /h/. Actually, the whole /s/ > /h/ change is kind of strange, at least based on the corresponding pronouns & verb augments from East Semitic, PS *šalāmum should've become *halāmun and *halōm in Arabic and Hebrew, respectively.

Quote:
Actually, I'm pretty sure you're right. The sh- is related to the causative (h- in Hebrew). You can see a sort of causative in the meanings of new roots:


I think one of the things that make comparative Semitic studies more difficult than, say, comparative IE is that most Semitic languages were in mutual contact for several thousand years; it makes it very difficult to distinguish between inherited features/shared innovation and borrowings.

Quote:
The t- prefix is most likely related to the reflexive/detransitivizing /t/ seen in forms such as hitpa`el.


Out of curiosity, do you use the root T-R-G-M in Hebrew to mean translate? and if so, which class does it belong to?

Quote:
EDIT: I'm sorry, I have to split this post in half. For some reason if I don't the formatting gets completely screwed up and half the post just disappears, and I have no idea why.


You do realize this is a serious breach of our trust and means I must swear a blood vendetta against you, right? :-)

Quote:
Well, an intensive and a negative seem very different meaning-wise. This usage in Hebrew is an extension of its normal use as one of the five suffixed existencial particles in Hebrew:

יש yesh "there is" > ישנו yeshno "he exists"
אין 'eyn "there isn't" > אינו 'eyno "he does not exist" (eg, hu' 'eyno ke'an "He is not here")
עוד `od "still" > עודנו `odenu "he still is" (eg, hu' `odenu ke'an "He is still still")
הינה hineh "here is" > היננו hinenu "here he is"
הרי harey "is indeed" > הרינו hareynu "he is indeed"


Again I'm reminded of the emphatic/subjunctive particles in Arabic: هو موجود /huwa mawjūdun/ "he is here" (lit. he found), قالت إنّه موجود /qālat 'innahu mawjūdun/ "she said that he is here" (lit. said-she <subj>-him found). There are several such particles in Arabic, all which must be followed either by a verb in the subjunctive, a noun in the accusative, or a suffixed pronoun.

This is somewhat relavant to your question on the origins of lam and lan (which I forgot to answer last post, btw - sorry :-( ). One of these "subjunctive" particles is /'an/, as in: أريد أن نتحادث لغتينا /'urīdu 'an nataħādaθa luɣataynā/ "I want us to discuss our languages" (lit. I want that we-discuss(subjunctive) language(dual)-ours). Since lan is also followed by the subjunctive, it probably comes from + 'an (lit. "no" + "that"). Lam could possibly from + (lit. "no" + "not"), but I'm a little less certain on that one.

So /yeš/ means "there is" in Hebrew? That's very interesting, because part of me is wondering if יש is related to ليس /laysa/ in Arabic - that is Arabs used the construction *lā + *yas ("no" + "there is") for "there is not" so much that they fused together. It certainly would explain why it behaves like no other verb in the language.

The word עוד looks like it might be cognate of عاد /ʕāda/ "he returned". Amongst other things, when used as an auxiliary it means something like "he did it again", especially in the negative: ما عاد يحاربون /mā ʕāda yataħārabūna/ "they didn't fight again" (lit. not return they-fight), لم يعد السفرة ممكنةً /lam yaʕudi-s-safratu mumkinatan/ "the trip wasn't possible any more" (lit. not returned-the-journey (as) possible).

Two questions: Is /ke'an/ spelled with 'ק' or 'כ'? for that matter was the glottal stop 'א' or 'ע'? Also, could you give me an example of הרי in a sentence?

Quote:
Oh, that just reminded me of several others:

shum: maqom "place" > shum maqom "nowhere, no place"
bilti: musari "moral" > bilti musari "immoral"


I'm wondering if bilti is related to Arabic بل /bal/, which means something like, "but rather" or "on the contrary": لا أتكلّم العبرية بل العربية /lā 'atakallamu-l-ʕibriyyata bal 'al-ʕarabiyyata/ "I don't Hebrew, but (in contrast/rather) Arabic", لا أدرس اللغات الحديثة فحسب بل والقديمة أيضاً /lā 'adrusu-l-luɣāta-l-ħadīθata faħasbu bal wa-l-qadīmata 'ayḍan/ "I don't just study modern languages, but rather ancient ones as well".

Of course, this is assuming the /t/ comes from 'ת' and not 'ט'. Curse you Ashkenazim for not being able to velarize/glottalize your consonants and thus making comparative Semitic etymology more difficult for me! *shakes fist*

Quote:
Well, both German and French have [ ʁ ]...

(And okay, I've only really heard German and French used for comparison)


Granted, I didn't say that MH really sounded like German itself, but rather that it sounded like Arabic spoken with a thick German accent (to sound like German, you really need those front-rounded vowels). I don't just think it's the [ʁ] however, as there are Arabic dialects that use it too. One factor that really comes to mind is both languages propensity (at least to a foreigner's ears) for [ʃ]C clusters: [ʃt], [ʃm], [ʃn], etc.

Actually, at least in terms of phrasing, it (MH) kinda' reminds me of Ethiopian Semitic languages (Amharic et al) as well, although I wonder if that's just more a coincidence that came about due to [semitic word structure] + [lack of gutteral consonants].


The French thing doesn't click as much with me, but that might be more because when I think, "French accented English" I think "Canadian French accented English", which is rather different from the European variety most people think of (I was once told by a european that french-canadian accented english sounds like a drunken irishman trying to imitate Pepé Le Pew).

hwhatting wrote:
You bet. The food is one of the things that keeps one going despite the silly politics.


You know, I sometimes think the Middle East would be a much better place if everyone just sat around and ate tabouleh and lamb kebab. ;-)


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