Oh, to Understand The Impish Behavior And Temperament of Ethiopian Left- geminators!
(reviewers: Ezer Rasin, Guillaume Enguehard)
Abstract: Arabic and Hebrew exhibit verbs with identical second and third consonants, C 1 C 2 C 2 , but no verbs with identical first and second consonants, C1C1C2 . McCarthy (1979) showed how this effect followsfrom his groundbreaking autosegmental treatment of Semitic roots.Chaha, an Ethiopian Semitic language, provides striking additionalevidence for McCarthy’s proposals. But, Chaha (like all other
Ethiopian Semitic languages) also displays verbs of the type which is expected not to exist, C1C1C2. Banksira (2000) argued that such verbs arise from the deletion of the penultimate consonant of fully
reduplicated biliteral roots (C1C2C1C2 → C1
C2C1C2). But Banksira’s account falls short of explaining why the alleged penultimate deletion is operative in all Ethiopian Semitic languages and nowhere else. In this article, an alternative is offered. Its contribution comprises 3 facets. It provides a rationale for full root reduplication in Semitic, in general (C1C2C1C2). It derives the special distribution of C1C1C2 verbs : such verbs are exclusively attested in Ethiopian Semitic languages because of a uniquely Ethiopian particularity of their templatic system. It involves no alteration of autosegmental theory.
Lowenstamm, Jean. 2022. “Oh, to Understand The Impish Behavior And Temperament of Ethiopian Left-geminators!”. Radical: A Journal of Phonology, 4, 453-490.