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The Loss of the person-marker t- In Jibbali and Socotri

  • David Testen (a1)

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Johnstone (1968, 1975, 1980, 1981) has pointed out that two of the Modern South Arabian group of Semitic languages, Jibbali (Śḥeri) and Socotri, systematically lose the person-marking prefix t- (whether it mark the second person or the feminine third person) in certain types of verbs. An example of this phenomenon from Jibbali may be seen in the passive paradigm of the basic stem, which is given below alongside the active-voice paradigm of a ‘stative’- type basic verb, the conjugation of which (aside from the person-markers under discussion) closely matches that of the passive form. In the active voice, the tappears in the positions in which we expect it on the basis of the cognate prefixes in the other Semitic languages, while in the passive voice the t- is absent.

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Johnstone, T. M. 1968. The non-occurrence of a t-prefix in certain Socotri verbal forms’, BSOAS, XXI, 3, 1968, 515–25.
Johnstone, T. M. 1975. ‘The modern South Arabian languages’, Afroasiatic Linguistics, 1/5: 93121.
Johnstone, T. M. 1980. ‘The non-occurrence of a t-prefix in certain Jibbāli verbal forms’, BSOAS, XLIII, 3: 466–70.
Johnstone, T. M. 1981. Jibbali lexicon. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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The Loss of the person-marker t- In Jibbali and Socotri

  • David Testen (a1)

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