What a fascinating thread! I had no idea ...
Having read through the thread twice, I think I am beginning to understand.
I would like to give a broad outline of what I (think I) have learned about Arabic and Hebrew. Please correct my mis-apprehensions. There are bound to be some.
1. Words are formed from tri-consonantal roots, e.g., B-K-R.
2. Roots are members of binyamin. Each binyamin has a set of patterns that conjugate roots into verbs, e.g., CoCaC, bokar for the root above. Not all binyamin contain the same number of roots. But a root can be a member of more than one binyamin.
Question: Can't all roots be members of all binyamin? The answer might be that they could be, but are not.
3. Stems are created by adding one or two vowels and zero or more affixes to the root. Most, if not all, of these stems seem to represent verbs. The specific vowels added conjugate the root for finiteness, number, person, gender, tense, voice, aspect, valence, reflexiveness, and mood (at least).
4. Nouns (including gerunds and participles) are created from verb stems by adding zero or more affixes. It is unclear to me whether vowel changes are also involved in creating a noun. I assume that the conjugation of the verb stem that was modified affects the sense of the noun. Affixes can be C, V, CV, CV, or CVC. The affixes and vowel changes also inflect/decline the noun for number, person, gender, state, and (in Arabic) case (at least).
The "state" of a noun is either absolute, definite, or construct. The definite state is a regular ol' definite noun.
The construct state is used to form possessives, although there are some words that use an affix to indicate the possessive.
Question: Is it the possessor noun or the possessed noun that gets put into the construct state or marked for the possessive?
If the construct state were used only to indicate possession, then it could just be called a genitive case marking, could it not? Is the construct state used for anything other than possession?
That would leave indefinite nouns for the absolute state, but I don't know if that is correct.
Question: What is the absolute state of a noun used for?
5. Adjectives and adverbs are created from verb stems and/or nouns by adding zero or more affixes and zero or more vowel changes. I think adjectives and adverbs are inflected for person, number, and gender (at least).
6. Articles, conjunctions, prepositions, and pronouns are affixes. Articles and prepositions seem to be prefixes; pronouns seem to be suffixes. It is unclear where conjunctions go.
7. Articles and pronouns appear to be inflected/declined. I can't tell about conjunctions and prepositions.
Again, this was a fun topic to read. Thanks to all that contributed.