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Linguistic Inquiry

Spring 2008, Vol. 39, No. 2, Pages 221-259
(doi: 10.1162/ling.2008.39.2.221)
© 2008 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
On the Mental Representation of Arabic Roots
Article PDF (452.37 KB)
Abstract

In Prunet, Béland, and Idrissi 2000, we presented evidence from an aphasic subject that argued for the morphemic status of Arabic consonantal roots. We predicted that inaudible glides in weak roots should resurface in metathesis and template selection errors, but at the time the relevant data were unattested. Here, we present such data, obtained from a new series of experiments with the same aphasic subject. Arabic hypocoristic formation offers another case of glide resurfacing. Both sources of data confirm that Arabic consonantal roots are abstract morphemic units rather than surface phonetic units.