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On Aug 11, 2005, at 3:52 PM, tomhchappell wrote:
> Was my comment about the "hollow" roots on-track or off-track?
> (I didn't use the word "hollow",
> but you can see what I meant if you read what I wrote.)
> Also, isn't there a special consideration that has to be made in
> Hebrew for roots that begin (or is it end?) with nun (or is it mem?)?
> If so, is what I wrote about the "servile consonants" on-track, or
> off-track?
> Thanks again,
> Tom H.C. in MI

Let's see... :)

On Aug 9, 2005, at 6:31 PM, tomhchappell wrote:
> Also, there are some prefixes and suffixes that contain just one
> consonant each.  If one of these is used, it is called a "servile
> consonant".
> In this case you could have, for instance, "m" for a servile
> consonant in the prefix, or "t" for a servile consonant in the
> suffix, and get words with patterns that might be like
> vmvDvRvSv
> vDvRvSvtv
> vmvDvRvSvtv

I don't think i've heard the term 'servile consonant' before, but 
Semitic languages do make use of vowel patterns that include additional 
consonants.
examples:

the Hebrew _Hitpa`eil_ paradigm:
root /l b S/
simple paradigm: _a_a_ = /labaS/ [lOBaS] = 'he wore'
hitpa`eil: hit_a_Čei_ = /hitlabbeS/ = 'he got dressed'

the M+ 'place' noun form:
Arabic root /s dZ) d/ "worship"
ma__i_ = _masjid_ = 'mosque'
Hebrew root /t> b X\/ "slaughter"
mi__a_ = _mitbahh_ = 'kitchen'
Arabic root /k w n/ "be" <-- hollow!
ma_a_ = _makaan_ = 'place'
Hebrew root /k> w m/ "stand" <-- hollow!
ma_o_ = _maqom_ = 'place'
Arabic root /d r s/ "learn"
ma__a_a = _madrasa_ = 'school'

> Problems come up if; 1)the first consonant of the root is one of the
> consonants allowed as a servile consonant in a prefix; 2) the last
> consonant of the root is one of the consonants allowed as a servile
> consonant in a suffix; 3) the second consonant of the root is the
> same as its first consonant; 4) the second consonant of the root is
> the same as its last consonant; 5) any of the consonants of the root
> is a semi-vowel; 6) any of the consonants of the root is a glottalic
> or laryngeal.  If a root has just one of these problems, there are
> well-established, systematic ways to handle it.  If a root has
> exactly two of these problems, it can be handled in various
> idiosyncratic ways.  If a root has three or more of these problems,
> then, I think, it is not likely to be used much as a root.

In the realm of weird roots, there's the Hebrew root /n k h/ meaning 
'hit, strike', with the final weak _h/y_ and the initial 
prone-to-assimilation _n_.
In Biblical Hebrew, the _hif`il_ paradigm 3rd person singular masculine 
consecutive-imperfect form of the root comes out _vayakh_ /vajjak/, 
where only the middle root letter /k/ survives!

> I'm still curious whether anyone else thinks my parallel (between
> broken plurals and strong verbs) was apt.

Sure, why not?  They're both semi- or pseudo-irregular parts of a 
system where the 'simple' or 'expected' process is also used for other 
words.


-Stephen (Steg)