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Linguistic Inquiry

Summer 2001, Vol. 32, No. 3, Pages 512-520
(doi: 10.1162/002438901750372540)
© 2001 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Arabic Hypocoristics and the Status of the Consonantal Root
Article PDF (59.77 KB)
Abstract

There is currently a controversy regarding the lexical (morphemic) status of the consonantal root in the Semitic languages. Bat-El (1994) and Ratcliffe (1997) have argued against the lexical status of the consonantal root in Hebrew and Arabic, respectively. However, Prunet, Béland, and Idrissi (2000) present Arabic aphasic evidence supporting the lexical (morphemic) status of the consonantal root for Arabic. In this article we offer supporting evidence from Arabic hypocoristics for the morphemic status of the consonantal root. We argue that hypocoristic formation is an output-to-output word formation process that nonetheless references the consonantal root. We then discuss implications.