Chapter published in:Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XXX: Papers from the annual symposia on Arabic Linguistics, Stony Brook, New York, 2016 and Norman, Oklahoma, 2017
Edited by Amel Khalfaoui and Matthew A. Tucker
[Studies in Arabic Linguistics 7] 2019
► pp. 33–52
Are there transfer effects in the Arabic comparative?
A contentious issue in Arabic linguistics concerns whether Arabic morphology is root-based or stem-/word-based. In a root-based approach, derivation depends on the consonantal root, which is understood as constituting a morpheme. This contrasts with the stem-/word-based view where derivation is based on a stem/word that includes a vowel. The strongest evidence for the stem-/word-based approach comes from morphological processes like the plural and diminutive. Based on this, Ratcliffe (1998) makes the strong claim that all Arabic morphology is word-based. In this paper I argue that the Arabic templatic comparative is a root-based process since unlike the plural and diminutive it witnesses no transfer effects from a supposed base. I conclude that Arabic allows both word-based and root-based derivation.
Keywords: Arabic, comparative, consonantal root, root-based morphology, transfer effects, word-based morphology
- 2.The Arabic broken plural and transfer effects
- 3.The Arabic comparative and the lack of transfer effects
- 3.1The comparative template
- 3.2Evidence against transfer effects in the Arabic comparative
- 3.3Possible marginal instances of transfer effects in the comparative
- 3.3.1The comparative of [gidiid] ‘new’/‘recent’
- 3.3.2Comparatives of forms with four root consonants in southern Levantine Arabic
Published online: 08 July 2019
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