Early Arabic linguistic classiﬁcation319
pattern as a paradigmatic passive: Proto-CentralSemiticseemstohavehadtwo forms of the G-stem passive,qatūl andqatī l
, while the nominal stem
occurredin isolated forms. While adjectives often with a passive/stative sense of the former tworemain in Arabic (qatīlun,kabīrun
), the productive means by whichtoformapassive
participle from the G-stem (formI)isthepattern
. The loss of this feature
and the variety of verbal noun patterns in Arabic wouldthenbeinterpretedasaninnova
-tion (but see section 3.2).u~i
in the passive of the sufx conjugation.Internalpassivesexistin
other Semitic languages, but their vocalic pattern differs.Huehnergardreconstructsthe patternquttal for Northwest Semitic.qad
as a perfective morpheme, as in
qad faʕala ‘hehad done’.12 The preposition fī , derived from the word “mouth”.3rd person pronouns were proper demonstratives in Proto-Semitic and continued as suchin most of the daughter languages, e.g. Hebrew
‘that book’; Dadaniticw l-h hʔ ‘and that belongs to him’ (Farès-Drappeau 2005, p. 66); Akkadian
‘that king’. No such function isattestedinArabic.
Pat-El has shown recently (2014), Arabic exhibits aninnovationinitsmorphosyntaxwhere nunation may occur on the head of asyndetic relative clauses. Other Semitic lan
-guages use the construct form of a noun in this syntactic position.
While not all of these developments carry the same weightforlinguisticdiagnosis,theycanwith some condence be reconstructed to the Proto-Arabic stage. The exception is perhaps
Feature 1, where the evidence is ambiguous in Old Arabic,andFeature9,whereithasbeenrecently argued that the Maṣdar system of Arabic is in fact original and would therefore reect
an archaism rather than an innovation (Strich 2013). This viewissupportedbythepresenceand use of the innitives in Old Arabic, but the vocalic patterns are not always clear.
Ta: While Hebrew attests a verbal form ending in
o these innovations identied by Huehnergard, we may add the following:
termination is found in Amarna Canaanite and Ugaritic,verbswiththisterminationdo
not function as a paradigmatic subjunctive. Therefore,Huehnergardsuggeststhatthesub- junctive in-a
could be characteristic of Arabic, although he didnotplaceitontheprimarylist of innovations.16 The negativemā: Huehnergard originally excluded the use of
as a negator from
the list of Arabic innovations because it occasionally occursinNorthwestSemitic,e.g.Hebrewma-bbə-yādî rāʕâ
‘what evil is in my hand’ (i.e. there isnoevilinmyhand)
(1 Sam. 26:18). However, the negative meaning is clearlyrhetoricalinallofthenon-
Arabic attestations. The innovation in Arabic is then inthegrammaticalizationofthisrhetorical device into a proper negative adverb.
17 Other prepositions and adverbs that are typicalofArabicmaybeaddedto
fī ; these are*ʕan ablative, *ʕinda locative , *ḥattay ‘until’, andʿkd
y (vocalization unclear)‘thereafter’(found in Old Arabic only).