The Morphology of the G-Stem Imperative in Semitic

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Øyvind Bjøru



I will assess earlier approaches to the morphology of the G-stem imperative in Semitic and mount a reconstruction that supports a specific set of disyllabic patterns for the imperative of the basic stem in Proto-Semitic, i.e., qutul, qitil, and qital. The most common process envisioned for the formation of the imperative is clipping from the prefix conjugation, but the most recent full treatment of the topic is Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal’s revision and expansion of a century-old proposal that qatul, qatil, and qital are the patterns of the imperative in Proto-Semitic. I refute both the clipping approach and Bar-Asher’s patterns in favor of qutul, qitil, and qital, which are the most economical and precise reconstruction in accounting for the realizations of the imperative in the various branches of Semitic.

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