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ARGUMENT AGAINST THE HYPOTHESIS: ALMOST ALL ROOTS IN OLD AND MODERN ‘ETHIOPIAN SEMITIC’ EITHER A OR B (OR C): THE CASE OF TIGRINYA [Abstract ID: 0806-03]
This paper presents A- and B-type Tigrinya verbs under the thought B-type is semi-predictable semantics vis-à-vis A-type. This classification is based on non-geminated the second radical (consonant) in perfect and geminated in imperfect (A-type), and geminated everywhere (B-type). As is well known, the Ethiopian “Semitic” verbs basically grouped into the two basic types termed ‘A’ and ‘B’ considering “Semitic” and Afroasiatic classification of verbs into stative/intransitive-suffixing and active/transitive prefixing verbs. Considering this thought, this paper brings Tigrinya verbs into a workable focus. In Tigrinya, very often a given verb-root occurs in both pattern ‘A’ and ‘B’ with a meaning difference. Choice of ‘A’ versus ‘B’ (or other types) does usually imply something about the semantics. Type B (geminating stem) is typically intensive or transitivized, causative or denominative when compared to type A. Each pattern (binyan) has several numbers of patterns (binyanim) and each pattern (binyan) has a fixed, predictable form, usually semi-predictable semantics. The type B stem counts as a distinct pattern (binyan). A root does often appear as type A and type B, then the two variants are transparently semi-predictable semantics. Hence, this justification challenges the conclusion, that is, if a root does, exceptionally, appear as both type A and type B (or other types) in Tigrinya, then typically either the two variants are synonyms, or they are totally different (homonyms) but not semi-predictable semantics. The question is why do some linguists arrive at this conclusion? I suggest that perhaps the existence of frequentative verbs generally in Ethiopian “Semitic” and particularly in Tigrinya disguise themselves to hardly examine the other direction.